Objective: This study aimed to demonstrate the effectiveness of kinesio taping in nonspecific neck pain and to assess whether ultrasonographic parameters of the upper trapezius muscle can be used in the follow-up of kinesio taping treatment.
Methods: This was a single-blind, prospective, randomized controlled trial study involving 60 participants with nonspecific neck pain. The participants were randomly assigned into two groups. Kinesio taping group (n=29) received a 4-week neck exercise program, with kinesio taping applied twice a week for a total of four times, and the exercise group (n=28) received a 4-week neck exercise program. Participants were evaluated according to pain intensity (Visual Analog Scale), cervical range of motion, and disability (Neck Disability Index). Also, trigger point diameter and upper trapezius muscle thickness were evaluated with ultrasonography. Before and after the therapy, as well as the first month, all measures were taken by an investigator other than the practitioner of the treatment program.
Results: The results showed that the Visual Analog Scale and Neck Disability Index scores in the kinesio taping group were statistically significantly improved when compared to the exercise group (p<0.05). In addition, the thickness of the upper trapezius muscle and the diameter of the trapezius muscle trigger point were statistically significantly improved in the kinesio taping group compared to the exercise group (p<0.05). In the kinesio taping group, there was no statistical significance in cervical range of motion as compared to the exercise group.
Conclusion: The combination of kinesio taping and exercise therapy was effective in reducing nonspecific neck pain and neck disability. Also, this study showed that ultrasonographic evaluation of the trapezius muscle could be used in the follow-up of kinesio taping therapy.