Background: Kinesiotaping (KT), has emerged as an interesting and relatively novel method for treating musculoskeletal conditions. To date, none of the systematic reviews with meta-analysis have addressed the efficacy of KT alone (without any other intervention) over sham taping (ST).
Objective: The present meta-analysis aimed to investigate the effectiveness of KT versus ST in patients with musculoskeletal conditions in interventions lasting at least 1 week on musculoskeletal conditions and functional performance outcomes.
Data source: Manual and electronic searches (CENTRAL, EMBASE, MEDLINE and PEDro) were conducted using kinesiotaping, strapping, musculoskeletal pain and musculoskeletal conditions.
Study selection criteria: Randomised controlled trials on adults with a diagnosis of musculoskeletal conditions.
Data extraction and data synthesis: Two researchers independently carried out the search and the third author was referred to for arbitration. The methodological quality of the studies using the PEDro scale and GRADE approach.
Results: Six RCTs were identified and included in the meta-analysis. When compared with ST in adults with chronic non-specific low-back pain (LBP), KT resulted in superior effects on pain at follow-up, but the pooled pain in the immediate post-treatment period and disability scores (in the immediate post-treatment period and at follow-up) were not significantly different. Generally, all results were supported by low quality evidence according to GRADE criteria.
Conclusion: Our findings indicate inconclusive and low-quality evidence of a beneficial effect of KT alone over ST in LBP and knee osteoarthritis. Systematic review registration number: PROSPERO CRD42018084151.
Keywords: Evidence based; Knee; Lower back; Physiotherapy; Sham taping; Taping.
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