Objectives: To determine the true and immediate effect of applying Kinesio tape (KT) on the pain intensity, pain-free grip strength, maximal grip strength, and electromyographic activity with facilitatory KT, inhibitory KT, sham KT, and untaped condition in patients with lateral epicondylitis (LE) who were ignorant about KT.
Design: Deceptive crossover trial.
Participants: Thirty-three patients with unilateral chronic LE who were ignorant about KT, 30 of them were successfully deceived in this study.
Interventions: Patients were randomly allocated into different sequences of four taping conditions: facilitatory KT, inhibitory KT, sham KT, and untaped condition.
Outcome measures: Pain intensity, pain-free grip strength, maximal grip strength, and electromyographic activity of wrist extensor muscles were assessed immediately after each tape application.
Results: No significant differences in the pain intensity (p = 0.321, η2 = 0.04); pain-free grip strength (p = 0.312, η 2 = 0.04); maximal grip strength (p = 0.499, η2 = 0.03); and electromyographic activity (maximal grip: p = 0.774, η2 = 0.01; and pain-free grip: p = 0.618, η2 = 0.02) were recorded among various taping conditions.
Conclusions: Neither facilitatory nor inhibitory effects were observed between different application techniques of KT in patients with LE. Hence, alternative intervention should be used to manage LE.
Keywords: EMG; pain; strength; tennis elbow.