The comparison of the effectiveness of Kinesio Taping and dry needling in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis: a clinical and ultrasonographic study

J Shoulder Elbow Surg. 2022 Aug;31(8):1553-1562. doi: 10.1016/j.jse.2022.03.010. Epub 2022 Apr 26.


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the short- and long-term effects of Kinesio Taping (KT) and dry needling (DN) applications on pain, functionality, and muscle strength in patients with lateral epicondylitis by use of questionnaires and ultrasonography.

Methods: Seventy-eight patients were randomized into 3 groups. Each group followed a program that consisted of 9 treatment sessions in total, with 3 sessions per week for 3 weeks. Group 1 received KT and performed exercise, group 2 received DN and performed exercise, and group 3 performed exercise alone. Pain, functional status, grip strength, and the thickness and echogenicity of the common extensor tendon were evaluated before treatment, after treatment (at the end of the third week), and after 6 months.

Results: In intragroup evaluations, KT and DN were found to be effective in the short and long term in terms of pain, functional status, muscle strength, and tendon thickness (P < .01). In intergroup evaluations, improvement in the KT and DN groups was superior to that in the control group for all parameters (P < .05). On comparison of the KT and DN groups, improvements in the clinical parameters and tendon thickness, heterogeneity, and elastography were significantly better in the DN group in the short and long term (P < .05).

Conclusions: The ultrasonographic outcomes in our study objectively demonstrated that although DN in general is superior in the treatment of lateral epicondylitis, KT treatment is also effective.

Keywords: Kinesio Tape; Lateral epicondylitis; dry needling; tendinopathy; tennis elbow; treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Athletic Tape*
  • Dry Needling*
  • Humans
  • Pain
  • Pain Measurement
  • Tennis Elbow* / diagnostic imaging
  • Tennis Elbow* / therapy
  • Treatment Outcome