STUDY DESIGN: Prospective, randomized, double-blinded, clinical trial using a repeated-measures design. OBJECTIVES: To determine the short-term clinical efficacy of Kinesio Tape (KT) when applied to college students with shoulder pain, as compared to a sham tape application. BACKGROUND: Tape is commonly used as an adjunct for treatment and prevention of musculoskeletal injuries. A majority of tape applications that are reported in the literature involve nonstretch tape. The KT method has gained significant popularity in recent years, but there is a paucity of evidence on its use. METHODS AND MEASURES: Forty-two subjects clinically diagnosed with rotator cuff tendonitis/impingement were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups: therapeutic KT group or sham KT group. Subjects wore the tape for 2 consecutive 3-day intervals. Self-reported pain and disability and pain-free active ranges of motion (ROM) were measured at multiple intervals to assess for differences between groups. RESULTS: The therapeutic KT group showed immediate improvement in pain-free shoulder abduction (mean ± SD increase, 16.9° ± 23.2°; P = .005) after tape application. No other differences between groups regarding ROM, pain, or disability scores at any time interval were found. CONCLUSION: KT may be of some assistance to clinicians in improving pain-free active ROM immediately after tape application for patients with shoulder pain. Utilization of KT for decreasing pain intensity or disability for young patients with suspected shoulder tendonitis/impingement is not supported. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapy, level 1b-.
J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2008;38(7):389-395, published online 29 May 2008. doi:10.2519/jospt.2008.2791
KEY WORDS: impingement, rehabilitation, taping
The authors determine the short-term clinical efficacy of Kinesio Tape (KT) when applied to college students with shoulder pain, as compared to a sham tape application.