Context: Although increasingly used for therapeutic treatment, only limited evidence exists regarding the effects of kinesio taping on patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA). Objective: To determine the effects of kinesio taping on pain, function, gait, and neuromuscular control concerning patients with knee OA. Design: Randomized sham-controlled trial. Setting: University laboratory. Participants: A total of 141 patients (65.1 [7.0] y) with a clinical and radiographic diagnosis of knee OA. Intervention: Kinesio tape, sham tape, or no tape for 3 consecutive days. Main Outcome Measures: Self-reported pain, stiffness, and function were measured by the Western Ontario and McMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC). Further tests included the Balance Error Scoring System, 10-m walk test, the maximum voluntary isometric contraction force of the quadriceps femoris, and knee active range of motion. Results: At baseline, there were no differences in all outcomes between groups except for knee flexion. Significant effects were found for WOMAC pain (tape vs sham, P = .05; tape vs control, P = .047), stiffness (tape vs sham, P = .01; tape vs control, P ≤ .001), and physical function (tape vs sham, P = .03; tape vs control P = .004). No interactions were found for balance, muscle strength, walking speed, or active range of motion. Conclusion: Wearing kinesio tape for 3 consecutive days had beneficial effects regarding self-reported clinical outcomes of pain, joint stiffness, and function. This emphasizes that kinesio taping might be an adequate conservative treatment for the symptoms of knee OA.
Keywords: knee joint; physical activity; randomized control trial; rehabilitation.