Melese H, Alamer A, Hailu Temesgen M, et al. Effectiveness of Kinesio Taping on the Management of Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Pain Res. 2020 May 28;13:1267-1276. doi: 10.2147/JPR.S249567. eCollection 2020. (Systematic review)

The purpose of this review was to summarize the current best evidence for the effectiveness of Kinesio Taping in reducing pain and increasing knee function for patients with knee osteoarthritis. A comprehensive search of literature published between 2014 and 2019 was conducted using the following electronic databases: PubMed, Google Scholar, Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro), Science Direct, and Scopus. Only randomized controlled trials evaluating the effect of Kinesio Taping on knee osteoarthritis were included. PEDro was used to assess the risk of bias of included trials. This study was reported according to the guideline of the PRISMA statement. The methodological quality of the studies was done using the PEDro scale and GRADE approach. The overall quality of evidence was rated from moderate to high. Eighteen randomized trials involving 876 patients were included. The present systematic review demonstrated that there were significant differences between Kinesio Taping groups and control groups in terms of visual analog scale (VAS), Western Ontario and MacMaster Universities Osteoarthritis Index (WOMAC) scale and flexion range of motion. Kinesio Taping is effective in improving pain and joint function in patients with knee OA.

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

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

There may well be some short term 'band aid' benefit when KT is employed in low to moderate levels of degenerative change. The degree effectiveness would seem inversely proportional to the severity of the underlying osteoarthritic change and its associated functional deterioration. A comparative cost benefit analysis is not provided.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

This is interesting information, but it fails to highlight the long term impact, and the tissue model of knee OA vs the chronic pain state with growing evidence for the biopsychosocial approach to pain and treatment of OA.

Rehab Clinician (OT/PT) rater

While most clinicians recommend kinesio taping for knee osteoarthritis, they are not aware that a level 1 evidence is needed to be very sure of such a heavily argued intervention. It is good that kinesio taping has been subjected to such a review and strong evidence exists now to justify it as an effective clinical intervention for knee OA patients.
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