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Luz Junior MAD, Almeida MO, Santos RS, et al. Effectiveness of Kinesio Taping in Patients With Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review With Meta-analysis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2019 Jan 1;44(1):68-78. doi: 10.1097/BRS.0000000000002756. (Systematic review)
Abstract

STUDY DESIGN: Systematic review.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of Kinesio Taping (KT) in patients with nonspecific low back pain.

SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: KT is widely used in patients with low back pain.

METHODS: We conducted searches on PubMed, EMBASE, PEDro, SciELO, and LILACS up to February 26, 2018. We included only randomized controlled trials (RCTs) in adults with chronic nonspecific low back pain that compared KT to no intervention or placebo as well as RCTs that compared KT combined with exercise against exercise alone. The methodological quality and statistical reporting of the eligible trials were measured by the 11-item PEDro scale. The quality of the evidence was assessed using the GRADE classification. We considered pain intensity and disability as the primary outcomes. Whenever possible, the data were pooled through meta-analysis.

RESULTS: We identified 11 RCTs for this systematic review (pooled n?=?743). Two clinical trials (pooled n?=?100) compared KT to no intervention at the short-term follow-up. Four studies compared KT to placebo (pooled n?=?287) at short-term follow-up and two trials (pooled n?=?100) compared KT to placebo at intermediate-term follow-up. Five trials (pooled n?=?296) compared KT combined with exercises or electrotherapy to exercises or spinal manipulation alone. No statistically significant difference was found for most comparisons.

CONCLUSION: Very low to moderate quality evidence shows that KT was no better than any other intervention for most the outcomes assessed in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain. We found no evidence to support the use of KT in clinical practice for patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain.

LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 1.

Ratings
Discipline Area Score
Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) 6 / 7
Physician 5 / 7
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Comments from MORE raters

Physician rater

Yet another treatment for back pain that seems ineffective. THis is relevant and newsworthy.

Physician rater

This meta-analysis looked at published studies on the efficacy of Kinesiology Taping in the management of chronic nonspecific low back pain with the outcomes of pain intensity and disability. The author identified 11 RCTs that were relevant with either placebo, exercises or electrotherapy treatments in the control group. While the quality of evidence was low to moderate, there was no evidence that Kinesio Taping had any efficacy in this patient group. Unfortunately this is another example of unproven treatments being promoted in the management of back pain which do not stand up to a rigorous examination of the efficacy.

Physician rater

This paper has excellent review methodology. It is very relevant for spine specialists, gives very clear results and is informative for MSK specialists, in general.

Physician rater

We have limited quality evidence for many of the interventions used in low-back pain. I don't think this will change what I do.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

An orthopaedic and sports PT, I get many questions related to the effectiveness of KT taping for myriad issues, including NSLBP. These results are what I would have expected. The benefit of this article to me is that it provides evidence when I am asked to give an opinion or advice to my clients, students, and colleagues.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

This well designed meta analysis confirms previous results that kinesio taping as an intervention for chronic NSLBP is ineffective. This is not surprising given the biopsychosocial nature of chronic NSLBP. Given the need in physiotherapy to reduce practice variation and enhance quality of care, kinesio taping should not be prescribed for patients seeking care for their impairment. In addition, until supporting evidence evolves, insurers should not reimburse for this service.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

The findings of the study show there is no support for the use of this modality with this client group. 'Very low to moderate quality evidence shows that KT was no better than any other intervention for most the outcomes assessed in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain. We found no evidence to support the use of KT in clinical practice for patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain'.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

So although there is no clear evidence for the benefit of using K-tape for patients with LBP, we have to keep in mind that this is based on a small number of studies with limited amount of subjects. Therefore we have the be cautious with the conclusions of the authors and more research regarding potential benefits from K tape should be performed.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

These are unsurprising results arguably confirming that the targeted marketing of free stuff in the visible sporting arena may provide an apparently persuasive clinical argument.
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