Osteoarthritis is one of the most prevalent joint diseases in older adults. Since hands play a key role in daily activities, their impairment causes disability and reduction of independency. The present study aimed to investigate the effect of using Kinesio tape on pain, range of motion (ROM), hand strength and functional abilities in patiënts with hand osteoarthritis (HOA).
In this randomized clinical trial study, 38 patients with the diagnosis of HOA were selected and randomly assigned to Kinesio tape plus exercise (KT-EXE) and exercise (EXE) groups. Each group included 19 subjects who participated in an 8-week intervention. Visual analog scale, Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand questionnaire (DASH), as well as goniometer and dynamometer measurements, were used to assess pain severity, upper extremity functional disabilities, ROM and grip strength, respectively, before and after the intervention and at 2 months of follow-up.
There was no significant difference in pre-intervention scores between the two groups. Statistical analysis revealed significant improvement in pain, ROM, hand strength, and upper-extremity functional abilities after the intervention in KT-EXE and EXE groups. In addition, the follow-up analysis showed significant changes, compared to the initial assessments except for the pain in the EXE group. Results of the independent t-test revealed that change was significantly greater in KT-EXE group than that in the EXE group at post-intervention and 2-month follow-up assessments except for the wrist flexion and upper-extremity functional abilities at final evaluation.
Obtained results of this study showed that Kinesio taping and hand exercise may have a positive effect on the improvement of pain, ROM, hand strength and upper-extremity functional abilities in patients with HOA. In addition, these two methods can be simultaneously used for the rehabilitation of this condition.