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Randomized Controlled Trial
. 2018 Jul;22(3):700-706.
doi: 10.1016/j.jbmt.2017.11.005. Epub 2017 Nov 15.

Short-term Effects of Kinesio Taping on Trigger Points in Upper Trapezius and Gastrocnemius Muscles

Randomized Controlled Trial

Short-term Effects of Kinesio Taping on Trigger Points in Upper Trapezius and Gastrocnemius Muscles

Leonid Kalichman et al. J Bodyw Mov Ther. .


Background: Kinesio taping is a possible therapeutic modality for myofascial pain, nevertheless, very scarce research has been performed on this subject.

Objective: To evaluate the immediate and short-term effect of kinesio taping application on myofascial trigger points (MTrPs) and pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) in the upper trapezius and gastrocnemius muscles.

Methods: Two randomized, single-blinded, controlled trials were simultaneously executed on the upper trapezius and gastrocnemius muscles. Different participants in each study were randomly assigned to an active intervention (N = 15) or control (N = 15) group. Kinesio taping was applied on the gastrocnemius or upper trapezius muscles by positioning three "I" strips in a star shape (tension on base) directly above the MTrPs in the active intervention group and a few centimeters away from the MTrPs in the controls.

Results: The second evaluation on both sides showed lower PPT values than the first evaluation in the control group, denoting that the spots were more sensitive. The third evaluation showed even lower values. The active intervention group showed a contralateral side pattern similar to the controls. However, on the side of the kinesio taping application, the PPT values of the second evaluation were higher (the spots were less sensitive) and after 24 h returned to the original values. The difference between the PPT measurements on the MTrPs' side of the active intervention group vs. the controls (time-group interaction) was significant (F (2,56) = 3.24, p = 0.047).

Conclusions: We demonstrated that a kinesio taping application positioned directly above the MTrPs may prevent an increase in sensitivity (decrease in PPT) immediately after application and prevent further sensitization up to 24 h later. The fact that two different muscles were similarly affected by the kinesio taping application, confirmed that the results were not in error. Further studies are needed to directly test the effect of a kinesio taping application on post-treatment soreness.

Keywords: Kinesio tape; Myofascial trigger points; Physiotherapy techniques; Randomized controlled trial.

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