MARK D. THELEN * JAMES A. DAUBER * PAUL D. STONEMAN
STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, randomized,double-blinded, clinical trial using a repeatedmeasures design.
OBJECTIVES: To determine the short-term clinical efficacy of Kinesio Tape (KT) when applied to college students with shoulder pain, as compared to a sham tape application.
BACKGROUND: Tape is commonly used as an adjunct for treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal injuries. A majority of tape applications that are reported in the literature involve nonstretch tape. The KT method has gained significant popularity in recent years, but there is a paucity of evidence on its use.
METHODS AND MEASURES: Forty-two subjects clinically diagnosed with rotator cuff tendonitis/impingement were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: therapeutic KT group or sham KT group. Subjects wore the tape for 2 consecutive 3-day intervals. Self-reported pain and disability and pain-free active range of motion (ROM) were measured at multiple intervals to assess for differences between groups.
RESULTS: The therapeutic KT group showed immediate improvement in pain-free shoulder abduction (mean +/- SD increase, 16.9° +/- 23.2°; P=.005) after tape application. No other differences between groups regarding ROM, pain, or disability scores at any time interval were found.
CONCLUSION: KT may be of some assistance to clinicians in improving pain-free active ROM immediately after tape application for patients with shoulder pain. Utilization of KT for decreasing pain intensity or disability for young patients with suspected shoulder tendonitis/impingement is not supported.
LEVEL OF EVIDENDE: Therapy, level 1b–. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2008;38(7):389-395. doi:10.2519/jospt.2008.2791
KEY WORDS: impingement, rehabilitation, taping