Does Kinesio Taping of the Knee Improve Pain and Functionality in Patients with Knee Osteoarthritis?

This study investigated the effect of Kinesio taping on the functionality, pain, range of motion (ROM), and muscle strength in patients with knee osteoarthritis compared with a placebo Kinesio tape (KT) application. Forty-two consecutive patients were randomized to a KT group and a placebo taping group. The assessments were performed at baseline, after the initial KT application, the third KT application, and 1 month later. The functional status of patients was evaluated using the Aggregated Locomotor Function score and the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis scale. Pain level, muscle strength, and active ROM were measured using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS), a handheld dynamometer, and digital goniometer, respectively.

Patients receiving the KT application demonstrated large decrease in VAS activity and walking task scores compared with the placebo taping group from the initial taping application to after the third taping application (P = 0.009 and P < 0.001, respectively) to the 1-month follow-up (P = 0.007 and P < 0.001, respectively). The KT group exhibited short-term improvement in VAS night and knee-flexion ROM after the 1-month follow-up (P < 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference in outcome measures in ROM and muscle strength between 2 groups.

This study demonstrates that Kinesio taping resulted in superior short-term effects on walking task, pain, and knee-flexion ROM compared with placebo taping in patients with knee osteoarthritis.