The aim of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of kinesio taping for managing myofascial pain syndrome in terms of pain intensity, pressure pain threshold, range of motion, muscle strength and disability.
PubMed, EBSCO, ScienceDirect, Web of Science, Cochrane Library and Physiotherapy Evidence Databases were searched from database inception to November 2018.
Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) that used kinesio taping as the main treatment protocol for participants diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome were included. Two reviewers independently screened articles, scored methodological quality using Cochrane risk-of-bias tool and extracted data. The primary outcomes were pain intensity, pressure pain threshold and range of motion at post-intervention and follow-up. The secondary outcomes were muscle strength and disability at post-intervention and follow-up.
Meta-analyses of 20 RCTs involving 959 patients showed that kinesio taping was more effective than other treatments in reducing pain intensity (mean difference (MD) = 1.06 cm, 95% confidence interval (CI): -1.66 to -0.46 cm, P = 0.006) and increasing range of motion (standardized mean difference (SMD) = 0.26, 95% CI: 0.09 to 0.43, P = 0.003) at post-intervention. Kinesio taping was also superior to other non-invasive techniques in relieving pain intensity at follow-up (MD = -0.68 cm, 95% CI: -1.22 to -0.13 cm, P = 0.02). However, there was no detectable effect on disability or function.
Statistical evidence showed that kinesio taping could be recommended to relieve pain intensity and range of motion for patients with myofascial pain syndrome at post-intervention.