Effect of kinesiology taping on pain in individuals with musculoskeletal injuries: systematic review and meta-analysis

Phys Sportsmed. 2014 May;42(2):48-57. doi: 10.3810/psm.2014.05.2057.


Kinesiology tape, an elastic tape used by sports medicine clinicians to enhance sports performance in athletes, is purported to facilitate a reduction in pain during physical activity in individuals with orthopedic injuries, but high-quality literature on this topic remains scarce. The purpose of this meta-analysis is to critically examine and review the existing literature to evaluate the effect of kinesiology tape application on pain in individuals with musculoskeletal injury. English-language publications from 2003 to 2013 were surveyed by searching SPORTDiscus, Scopus, ScienceDirect, CINAHL, Cochrane Library, PubMed, and PEDro databases using the terms kinesio tap*, kinesiology tap*, kinesiotap*, and pain. Thirteen articles investigating the effects of kinesiology tape application on pain with at least level II evidence were selected. The combined results of this meta-analysis indicate that kinesiology tape may have limited potential to reduce pain in individuals with musculoskeletal injury; however, depending on the conditions, the reduction in pain may not be clinically meaningful. Kinesiology tape application did not reduce specific pain measures related to musculoskeletal injury above and beyond other modalities compared in the context of included articles. We suggest that kinesiology tape may be used in conjunction with or in place of more traditional therapies, and further research that employs controlled measures compared with kinesiology tape is needed to evaluate efficacy.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Injuries / therapy*
  • Athletic Tape*
  • Humans
  • Musculoskeletal System / injuries*
  • Pain Management / methods*