Effects of kinesio taping on venous symptoms, bioelectrical activity of the gastrocnemius muscle, range of ankle motion, and quality of life in postmenopausal women with chronic venous insufficiency: a randomized controlled trial

Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2013 Dec;94(12):2315-28. doi: 10.1016/j.apmr.2013.05.016. Epub 2013 Jun 13.


Objective: To assess the efficacy of Kinesio taping (KT) on venous symptoms, quality of life, severity, pain, edema, range of ankle motion (ROAM), and peripheral muscle myoelectrical activity in lower limbs of postmenopausal women with mild chronic venous insufficiency (CVI).

Design: Double-blinded randomized controlled trial with concealed allocation.

Setting: Clinical setting.

Participants: Consecutive postmenopausal women (N=123; age range, 62-67y) with early-stage CVI. None of the participants withdrew because of adverse effects.

Intervention: Participants were randomly assigned to an experimental group for standardized KT application for external gastrocnemius (EG) and internal gastrocnemius (IG) muscle enhancement and ankle function correction or a placebo control group for sham KT application. Both interventions were performed 3 times a week during a 4-week period.

Main outcome measures: Venous symptoms, CVI severity, pain, leg volume, gastrocnemius electromyographic data, ROAM, and quality of life were recorded at baseline and after treatment.

Results: The experimental group evidenced significant improvements in pain distribution, venous claudication, swelling, heaviness, muscle cramps, pruritus, and CVI severity score (P≤.042). Both groups reported significant reductions in pain (experimental group: 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.6 to 2.1; control group: 95% CI, -0.2 to 0.3). There were no significant changes in either group in quality of life, leg volume, or ROAM. The experimental group showed significant improvements in root mean square signals (right leg: EG 95% CI, 2.99-5.84; IG 95% CI, 1.02-3.42; left leg: EG 95% CI, 3.00-6.25; IG 95% CI, 3.29-5.3) and peak maximum contraction (right leg: EG 95% CI, 4.8-22.7; IG 95% CI, 2.67-24.62; left leg: EG 95% CI, 2.37-20.44; IG 95% CI, 2.55-25.53), which were not changed in controls.

Conclusions: KT may reduce venous symptoms, pain, and their severity and enhance gastrocnemius muscle activity, but its effects on quality of life, edema, and ROAM remain uncertain. KT may have a placebo effect on venous pain.

Keywords: C1; C2; C3; CI; CIVIQ; CVI; EG; EMG; Electromyography; GM; IG; KT; Kinesio taping; ROAM; Range of motion; Taping Rehabilitation; VAS; chronic venous insufficiency; confidence interval; edema; electromyography; external gastrocnemius; gastrocnemius muscle; internal gastrocnemius; quality of life questionnaire in chronic lower limb venous insufficiency; range of ankle motion; telangiectasies or reticular veins; varicose veins; visual analog scale.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Ankle Joint / physiopathology*
  • Athletic Tape*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Edema / physiopathology
  • Edema / therapy
  • Electromyography*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscle Cramp / physiopathology
  • Muscle Cramp / therapy
  • Muscle, Skeletal / blood supply
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Pain / physiopathology
  • Pain Management
  • Postmenopause
  • Pruritus / physiopathology
  • Pruritus / therapy
  • Quality of Life*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Regional Blood Flow / physiology
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Venous Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Venous Insufficiency / psychology
  • Venous Insufficiency / therapy*