Background: Kinesio Taping (KT) has proved to be effective in various musculoskeletal conditions. Although its precise working mechanism has yet to be fully understood, it is believed to interact with neuromuscular function through mechanoceptor activation. No studies designed to assess the effects of KT in chronic low back pain (CLBP) patients have yet been conducted.
Aim: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of KT on pain, disability and lumbar muscle function in sufferers of CLBP, both immediately and at a one-month follow-up examination.
Design: The study consisted of two phases: phase I was based on an intra-subject pre-test/post-test procedure; phase II was based on a randomized, single-blinded controlled trial.
Setting: Outpatient facility.
Population: Thirty-nine CLBP patients were enrolled.
Methods: KT plus exercise, KT alone or exercise alone have been used for four weeks. Pain, disability and lumbar muscle function were evaluated before and after the treatment period.
Results: The patients in all three groups displayed a significant reduction in pain after treatment, though only the exercise-alone group displayed reduced disability. A return to normal lumbar muscle function was observed in 28% of patients, but was not related to a reduction in pain.
Conclusion: When applied to CLBP patients, KT leads to pain relief and lumbar muscle function normalization shortly after its application; these effects persist over a short follow-up period.
Clinical rehabilitation impact: KT may represent an effective adjunct therapy in the physical rehabilitation program of CLBP patients for immediate and acute pain control.