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Effect of Kinesio Taping on Pain and Functional Disability in Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial

Study Design. A randomized controlled trial with 2-week Kinesio taping intervention.
Objective. The aim of the study was to investigate the effectiveness of Kinesio taping application on pain, functional disability, and trunk flexion range of motion (ROM) in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain (chronic NSLBP).
Summary of Background Data. Kinesio taping is a therapeutic tool used for treatment of chronic NSLBP. However, there is little scientific evidence that describes its clinical efficacy.
Methods. Forty-four patients with chronic NSLBP were randomized into experimental group (n = 21) and placebo group (n = 23). The experimental group was treated with Erector Spinae Taping, whereas the placebo group was treated with placebo taping. The primary endpoint was pain intensity on visual analog scale. Secondary endpoints were functional disability on Arabic version of Oswestry disability index (ODI) and trunk flexion ROM on Modified Schober's test. All measurements were recorded at baseline (W0), after 2-week intervention (W2), and at 4-week (W4) follow-up.
Results. Both group were comparable at baseline (P > 0.05). The experimental group had a greater decrease in pain than the placebo group after W2 of intervention (mean between-group difference 2.05 cm, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.38–2.71 points). This was maintained to W4 follow-up (2.25 cm, 95% CI = 1.67–2.82 points). At W2, the experimental group had significantly greater improvement in disability, by 3.90 points (95% CI = 1.68–8.54 points). This effect was significant at W4 follow-up (5.6, 95% CI = 2.65–8.54 points). Similarly trunk flexion ROM was significantly better at W2 (−0.71 cm, 95% CI = −0.85 to −0.56) and W4 follow-up (−0.73 cm, 95% CI = −0.88 to −0.58).
Conclusion. Kinesio taping reduces pain and disability and improves trunk flexion ROM after 2 weeks of application. However, thesis effects were very small to be considered clinically relevant and meaningful when compared with placebo taping.
Level of Evidence: 2