One article on PainSci cites Williams 2012: The Dubious Science of Kinesiology Tape
PainSci notes on Williams 2012:
This meta-analysis of kineso taping for sports injuries in New Zealand’s Sports Medicine journal doesn’t really have much good news to report, but it comes off as pro-taping and cautiously optimistic:
In conclusion, there was little quality evidence to support the use of KT over other types of elastic taping in the management or prevention of sports injuries. KT may have a small beneficial role in improving strength, range of motion … . The amount of case study and anecdotal support for KT warrants well designed experimental research, particularly pertaining to sporting injuries, so that practitioners can be confident that KT is beneficial for their athletes.
And yet even that tepid report may be over-enthusiastic. This formal response in the British Journal of Sports Medicine (Kamper) just seethes with irritation:
Despite the title of the review, the authors do not report a meta-analysis of the included studies. … The review has several flaws, the most serious of which is selective reporting of outcomes. As only positive (significant) results are reported it is not possible to assess the entirety of the evidence for effectiveness of kinesio taping. In addition, while the authors report to have followed the methodological guidelines of the Cochrane Collaboration this does not appear to be the case. … Clinicians should look to other sources of information …
original abstract †Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
Kinesio tape (KT) is an elastic therapeutic tape used for treating sports injuries and a variety of other disorders. Chiropractor, Dr Kenso Kase, developed KT taping techniques in the 1970s. It is claimed that KT supports injured muscles and joints and helps relieve pain by lifting the skin and allowing improved blood and lymph flow. The profile of KT rose after the tape was donated to 58 countries for use during the 2008 Olympic Games, and was seen on high-profile athletes. Practitioners are asking whether they should use KT over other elastic adhesive tapes. The aim of this review was to evaluate, using meta-analysis, the effectiveness of KT in the treatment and prevention of sports injuries. Electronic databases including SPORTDiscus, Scopus, MEDLINE, ScienceDirect and sports medicine websites were searched using keywords 'kinesio taping/tape'. From 97 articles, ten met the inclusion criteria (article reported data for effect of KT on a musculoskeletal outcome and had a control group) and were retained for meta-analyses. Magnitude-based inferences were used to assess clinical worth of positive outcomes reported in studies. Only two studies investigated sports-related injuries (shoulder impingement), and just one of these involved injured athletes. Studies attending to musculoskeletal outcomes in healthy participants were included on the basis that these outcomes may have implications for the prevention of sporting injuries. The efficacy of KT in pain relief was trivial given there were no clinically important results. There were inconsistent range-of-motion outcome results, with at least small beneficial results seen in two studies, but trivial results in two other studies across numerous joint measurements. There was a likely beneficial effect for proprioception regarding grip force sense error, but no positive outcome for ankle proprioception. Seven outcomes relating to strength were beneficial, although there were numerous trivial findings for quadriceps and hamstrings peak torque, and grip strength measures. KT had some substantial effects on muscle activity, but it was unclear whether these changes were beneficial or harmful. In conclusion, there was little quality evidence to support the use of KT over other types of elastic taping in the management or prevention of sports injuries. KT may have a small beneficial role in improving strength, range of motion in certain injured cohorts and force sense error compared with other tapes, but further studies are needed to confirm these findings. The amount of case study and anecdotal support for KT warrants well designed experimental research, particularly pertaining to sporting injuries, so that practitioners can be confident that KT is beneficial for their athletes.
- “Effect of kinesiology taping on pain in individuals with musculoskeletal injuries: systematic review and meta-analysis,” Alicia M Montalvo, Ed Le Cara, and Gregory D Myer, Phys Sportsmed, 2014.
- “Kinesio taping in musculoskeletal pain and disability that lasts for more than 4 weeks: is it time to peel off the tape and throw it out with the sweat? A systematic review with meta-analysis focused on pain and also methods of tape application,” Edwin Choon Wyn Lim and Mathew Guo Xiang Tay, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2015.
- “A systematic review of the effectiveness of kinesio taping for musculoskeletal injury,” Mehran Mostafavifar, Jess Wertz, and James Borchers, Phys Sportsmed, 2012.
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- No long-term effects after a three-week open-label placebo treatment for chronic low back pain: a three-year follow-up of a randomized controlled trial. Kleine-Borgmann 2022 Pain.
- Exercise and education versus saline injections for knee osteoarthritis: a randomised controlled equivalence trial. Bandak 2022 Ann Rheum Dis.
- Association of Lumbar MRI Findings with Current and Future Back Pain in a Population-based Cohort Study. Kasch 2022 Spine (Phila Pa 1976).
- A double-blinded randomised controlled study of the value of sequential intravenous and oral magnesium therapy in patients with chronic low back pain with a neuropathic component. Yousef 2013 Anaesthesia.
- Is Neck Posture Subgroup in Late Adolescence a Risk Factor for Persistent Neck Pain in Young Adults? A Prospective Study. Richards 2021 Phys Ther.