Kinesio Taping reduces disability and pain slightly in chronic non-specific low back pain: a randomised trial

J Physiother. 2012;58(2):89-95. doi: 10.1016/S1836-9553(12)70088-7.


Question: Does Kinesio Taping reduce disability, pain, and kinesiophobia in people with chronic non-specific low back pain?

Design: Randomised trial, with concealed allocation, assessor blinding, and intention-to-treat analysis.

Participants: Sixty adults with chronic non-specific low back pain.

Intervention: The experimental intervention was Kinesio Taping over the lumbar spine for one week; the control intervention was sham taping.

Outcome measures: The following outcomes were measured at baseline, immediately after the week with the tape in situ, and four weeks later: Oswestry Disability Index, Roland- Morris Low Back Pain and Disability Questionnaire, pain on a 10-cm visual analogue scale, Tampa kinesiophobia scale, trunk flexion range of motion, and the McQuade test of trunk muscle endurance.

Results: At one week, the experimental group had significantly greater improvement in disability, by 4 points (95% CI 2 to 6) on the Oswestry score and by 1.2 points (95% CI 0.4 to 2.0) on the Roland-Morris score. However, these effects were not significant four weeks later. The experimental group also had a greater decrease in pain than the control group immediately after treatment (mean between-group difference 1.1cm, 95% CI 0.3 to 1.9), which was maintained four weeks later (1.0cm, 95% CI 0.2 to 1.7). Similarly trunk muscle endurance was significantly better at one week (by 23 sec, 95% CI 14 to 32) and four weeks later (by 18 sec, 95% CI 9 to 26). Other outcomes were not significantly affected.

Conclusion: Kinesio Taping reduced disability and pain in people with chronic non-specific low back pain, but these effects may be too small to be clinically worthwhile.

Trial registration: ACTRN12612000402842.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Tape*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / therapy*
  • Lumbar Vertebrae*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Treatment Outcome