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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 17-25

Should kinesiology taping be used to manage pain in musculoskeletal disorders? An evidence synthesis from systematic reviews


Centre for Pain Research, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Gourav Banerjee
Centre for Pain Research, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/PJIAP.PJIAP_31_19

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Kinesiology taping has emerged as a relatively new treatment used for the management of pain in musculoskeletal disorders. The purpose of our review was to synthesise up-to-date evidence from systematic reviews on the clinical efficacy of kinesiology taping for managing musculoskeletal pain. Electronic databases (MEDLINE/PubMed, CENTRAL, AMED, CINAHL, PEDro, SPORTDiscus, OTseeker, Scopus, Web of Science, ProQuest, Open Thesis, EThOS) were searched for systematic reviews with or without meta-analysis published in English and non-English languages. Search findings were screened against eligibility criteria and systematic review data was extracted, tabulated and descriptively analysed. Our review included 43 systematic reviews (17 meta-analyses). Systematic reviewers reported a paucity of high-quality randomised controlled trials and that overall evidence was of “very low” to “moderate” quality. There were 32 systematic reviews published since 2015 and these provided tentative evidence that kinesiology taping was superior to no or minimal treatment, but not superior to conventional physical therapies for reducing pain and improving function in the short-term in myofascial pain syndrome, shoulder impingement syndrome, chronic low back pain, knee osteoarthritis and patellofemoral pain syndrome. There is insufficient high-quality evidence to determine the clinical efficacy of kinesiology taping for managing musculoskeletal pain with any certainty. We recommend that an enriched enrolment randomised withdrawal trial is needed to increase the trustworthiness of evidence to inform clinical practice. Healthcare professionals in musculoskeletal practice should view kinesiology taping as one of a variety of nonpharmacological approaches with uncertain efficacy that may be used in combination with the core treatment.


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