Kinesio Taping Improves Pain and Function in Patients With Knee Osteoarthritis: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Int J Surg. 2018 Nov;59:27-35. doi: 10.1016/j.ijsu.2018.09.015. Epub 2018 Sep 28.


Objective: To perform a meta-analysis from randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to evaluate the efficacy of Kinesio Taping in reducing pain and increasing knee function in patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA).

Methods: The electronic databases include PubMed, Embase, web of science and the Cochrane Library up to August 2018. Studies searched were considered eligible if they met the criteria as follows: Population: patients with knee OA; Intervention: intervention groups received Kinesio Taping for the treatment of knee OA; Comparisons: Control group received sham taping; 3) Outcomes: visual analog scale (VAS), McMaster Universities Arthritis Index (WOMAC) scale, range of motion and muscle strength; Study design: RCTs. The Cochrane Collaboration's tool was used to assess risk of bias. We assessed statistical heterogeneity for each RCT with the use of a standard Chi2 test and the I2 statistic. STATA statistical software 15.0 was used for meta-analysis.

Results: Five RCTs involving 308 patients were included. The present meta-analysis demonstrated that there were significant differences between Kinesio Taping groups and control groups in terms of visual analog scale (VAS), WOMAC scale and flexion range of motion. No significant difference was found regarding quadriceps femoris muscle between groups.

Conclusion: Kinesio Taping is effective in improving for pain and joint function in patients with knee OA. Due to the limited quality of the evidence currently available, the results of our meta-analysis should be treated with caution.

Keywords: Kinesio taping; Knee osteoarthritis; Meta-analysis; VAS; WOMAC.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Tape*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Osteoarthritis, Knee / therapy*
  • Pain
  • Pain Management / methods*
  • Pain Measurement / methods
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Treatment Outcome