In recent years, Kinesio tape has been used to support injured muscle and joints, and relieve pain. We compared the pain and disability in individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain who were treated with Kinesio taping with those using minimal or other treatment approaches. Searches of eight major electronic databases were conducted. Data for pain and disability scores were extracted. Meta-analyses (wherever possible) with either a fixed or random effect(s) model, standardised mean differences (SMDs) and tests of heterogeneity were performed. Seventeen clinical-controlled trials were identified and included in the meta-analyses. When compared to minimal intervention, Kinesio taping provided superior pain relief (pooled SMD=-0.36, 95% CI -0.64 to -0.09, p=0.009) but the pooled disability scores were not significantly different (pooled SMD=-0.41, 95% CI -0.83 to 0.01, p=0.05). No significant differences were found when comparing Kinesio taping to other treatment approaches for pain (pooled SMD=-0.44, 95% CI -1.69 to 0.82, p=0.49) and disability (pooled SMD=0.08, 95% CI -0.27 to 0.43, p=0.65).
Kinesio taping is superior to minimal intervention for pain relief. Existing evidence does not establish the superiority of Kinesio taping to other treatment approaches to reduce pain and disability for individuals with chronic musculoskeletal pain.