Kinesio Taping does not improve the symptoms or function of older people with knee osteoarthritis: a randomised trial

J Physiother. 2016 Jul;62(3):153-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jphys.2016.05.012. Epub 2016 Jun 16.


Question: Does Kinesio Taping reduce pain and swelling, and increase muscle strength, function and knee-related health status in older people with knee osteoarthritis?

Design: Randomised, controlled trial with concealed allocation, intention-to-treat analysis and blinded assessment.

Participants: Seventy-six older people with knee osteoarthritis.

Intervention: The experimental group received three simultaneous Kinesio Taping techniques to treat pain, strength and swelling. The control group received sham taping. All participants kept the taping on for 4 days.

Outcome measures: The outcomes were: concentric muscle strength of knee extensors and flexors, measured by isokinetic dynamometry with an angular velocity of 60 deg/second normalised for body mass [(Nm/kg) x 100 (%)]; pressure pain threshold via digital pressure algometry (kgf/cm(2)); lower-limb swelling via volumetry (l) and perimetry (cm); physical function via the Lysholm Knee Scoring Scale (0 = worst to 100=best); and knee-related health status via the Western Ontario and McMaster (WOMAC) osteoarthritis index (0=best to 96=worst). Outcomes were measured at Day 4 (end of the taping period) and Day 19 (follow-up) after the start of the treatment.

Results: At Day 4, there were no significant between-group differences for knee extensor muscle strength (MD -1%, 95% CI -7 to 5), knee flexor muscle strength (MD 2%, 95% CI -3 to 7), the pressure pain threshold at any measured point, volumetry (MD 0.05 L, 95% CI -0.01 to 0.11), perimetry at any measured point, Lysholm score (MD -4 points, 95% CI -9 to 2), or WOMAC score (MD -2 points, 95% CI -8 to 4). The lack of significant between-group difference was also seen at the follow-up assessment on Day 19.

Conclusion: The Kinesio Taping techniques investigated in this study provided no beneficial effects for older people with knee osteoarthritis on any of the assessed outcomes.

Trial registration: Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials, RBR-36r3t5. [Wageck B, Nunes GS, Bohlen NB, Santos GM, de Noronha M (2016) Kinesio Taping does not improve the symptoms or function of older people with knee osteoarthritis: a randomised trial.Journal of Physiotherapy62: 153-158].

Keywords: Bandages; Knee injuries; Muscle strength; Oedema; Pain.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Athletic Tape*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / physiopathology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Treatment Outcome