Kinesio Taping Versus Dry Needling in the Treatment of Myofascial Pain of the Upper Trapezius Muscle: A Randomized, Single Blind (Evaluator), Prospective Study

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2019;32(5):819-827. doi: 10.3233/BMR-181162.


Background: Although a number of therapeutic interventions for trigger-point inactivation have been studied, it remains controversial which intervention is better.

Objective: To compare the effectiveness of the kinesio taping and dry needling methods in patients with trigger-point related myofascial pain syndrome of the upper trapezius muscle.

Methods: A total of 42 patients were randomly allocated to the kinesio taping group (n= 23) and dry needling group (n= 19). The patients were assessed for pain, pressure pain threshold (PPT), cervical range of motion (CROM), and function at baseline, at short- and medium-term stages after treatment. To investigate the effects of the interventions over time, two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used.

Results: There was a significant improvement in pain intensity at rest and cervical motion, in the PPT readings (p< 0.05), in CROM (p< 0.05), and in function (p< 0.05) in both groups, with no superiority either (p> 0.05).

Conclusions: Kinesio taping may be a choice of trigger point inactivation in patients who do not want to be needled or who show contraindication(s) to treatments other than kinesio taping.

Keywords: Myofascial pain; dry needling; kinesio taping; trigger point.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Tape*
  • Dry Needling*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / therapy*
  • Neck Pain / physiopathology
  • Neck Pain / therapy*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain Threshold / physiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Superficial Back Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Trigger Points / physiopathology*
  • Young Adult