Objective: Establish the effectiveness of kinesiology tape (KT) on sports performance abilities compared to that of other tapes or no tape with consideration to the application methodology, timeframe, and outcome measurement.
Methods: PubMed, Embase, and PEDro databases were systematically searched. The following inclusion criteria were applied: 1) participants were healthy athletes, 2) compared any brand of dynamic KT to other types of tape (sham or therapeutic) and/or no tape, 3) measured some construct of functional sports performance, 4) involved randomization. The PEDro scale was used to grade the risk of bias.
Results: Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria with PEDro scores ranging from 3 to 8 of 10 points. The sports performance abilities included: ball skills; power squats; cycling; dynamic balance; jumping (vertical and horizontal); agility; sprint speed; and distance running with 193 comparisons between KT and other tapes or no tape at a variety of timeframes after application. In total, eleven comparisons demonstrated significant effects: 2 in favor of KT, 8 in favor of Mulligan's tape, and one in favor of no tape.
Conclusion: There is a lack of compelling evidence to support the use of KT to enhance the sports performance abilities based on this review.
Level of evidence: 1a-.
Keywords: Kinesiology tape; Physical therapy modalities; Sports medicine; Sports performance.
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