kinesiotaping reduces pain and modulates sensory function in patients with focal dystonia: a randomized crossover pilot study

Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2013 Oct;27(8):722-31. doi: 10.1177/1545968313491010. Epub 2013 Jun 13.


Background: Pain is one of the most common and disabling "nonmotor" symptoms in patients with dystonia. No recent study evaluated the pharmacological or physical therapy approaches to specifically treat dystonic pain symptoms.

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of KinesioTaping in patients with cervical dystonia (CD) and focal hand dystonia (FHD) on self-reported pain (primary objective) and on sensory functions (secondary objective).

Methods: Twenty-five dystonic patients (14 with CD and 11 FHD) entered a randomized crossover pilot study. The patients were randomized to 14-day treatment with KinesioTaping or ShamTaping over neck (in CD) or forearm muscles (in FHD), and after a 30-day washout period, they received the other treatment. The

Main outcome measures: were 3 visual analog scales (VASs) for usual pain, worst pain, and pain relief. Disease severity changes were evaluated by means of the Toronto Western Spasmodic Torticollis Rating Scale (CD) and the Writer's Cramp Rating Scale (FHD). Furthermore, to investigate possible KinesioTaping-induced effects on sensory functions, we evaluated the somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold.

Results: Treatment with KinesioTape induced a decrease in the subjective sensation of pain and a modification in the ability of sensory discrimination, whereas ShamTaping had no effect. A significant, positive correlation was found in both groups of patients between the improvement in the subjective sensation of pain and the reduction of somatosensory temporal discrimination threshold values induced by KinesioTaping.

Conclusions: These preliminary results suggest that KinesioTaping may be useful in treating pain in patients with dystonia.

Keywords: KinesioTaping; focal dystonia; pain; sensory function.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Athletic Tape*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Dystonic Disorders / complications
  • Dystonic Disorders / rehabilitation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Pain Perception*
  • Pilot Projects