Lymphedema is known as a secondary complication of breast cancer treatment, caused by reduction on lymphatic flow and lymph accumulation on interstitial space. The Kinesio Taping (KT) has become an alternative treatment for lymphedema volume reduction. The objective of the study was to evaluate the literature through a systematic review on KT effects on lymphedema related to breast cancer.
Search strategies were performed by the following keywords: “Kinesio Taping,” “Athletic Tape,” “Cancer,” “Neoplasm,” “Lymphedema,” and “Mastectomy” with derivations and different combinations. The following databases were accessed: SCIELO, LILACS, MEDLINE via PubMed, and PEDro, between 2009 and 2016. Studies published in English, Portuguese, and Spanish were considered for inclusion. The studies’ methodological quality was assessed by the PEDro scale.
Seven studies were identified by the search strategy and eligibility. All of them showed positive effect in reducing lymphedema (perimeter or volume) before versus after treatment. However, with no effects comparing the KT versus control group or others treatments (standardized mean difference = 0.04, confidence interval 95%: -0.24; 0.33), the average score of the PEDro scale was 4.71 points.
KT was effective on postmastectomy lymphedema related to breast cancer; however, it is not more efficient than other treatments.