Effect of taping on spinal pain and disability

Taping is a commonly used therapeutic tool for the treatment of musculoskeletal disorders, nonetheless its effectiveness is still uncertain. The purpose of this study was to conduct a current review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) concerning the effects of elastic and nonelastic taping on spinal pain and disability. Eight RCTs were included. Meta-analysis of 4 RCTs on low back pain showed that elastic taping does not significantly decrease pain or disability immediately after treatment, with a standardized mean difference of -0.31 (95% confidence interval=-0.64, 0.02) and -0.23 (95% confidence interval=-0.49, 0.03), respectively. Results from single trials suggested that both elastic and nonelastic taping are not better than placebo or no treatment on spinal disability. Positive results were seen only in elastic taping and only for short-term pain reduction in WAD or specific neck pain. Generally, the effect sizes were very small or not clinically relevant, and all results were supported by low-quality evidence.

While various types of taping were investigated, the results of this systematic review did not reveal any firm support for their effectiveness.