Sunday, October 25, 2020

Still Using Kinesio Tapes Even If Research Paper Says They Aren't Useful?

I saw two patients with badly sprained ankles this past week. The first patient was hobbling while shuffling on one foot. The second patient was an 18 year old, former national sailor. She sprained her ankle 10 days ago and still couldn't bear weight. She was only putting her toes of her left foot on the ground while walking when not using crutches. Her comment was, "Oh! I can't believe this! My ankle is normal again! I should have listened to my dad and seen you earlier!"

I definitely made both of them better. And I used Kinesio tape as part of my treatment to help with the swelling. So I was very surprised when a systematic review and meta-analysis found that Kinesio taping did not improve ankle function or performance in people with ankle injuries.

A systematic review meta analysis is a search aided by computer looking for all randomized and clinically controlled studies while meta analysis means using statistics to combine the data derived from a systematic review. So the published review is not an article to scoff at.

However, I looked through the supplementary material, and the tapes used were of course of different brands, different taping techniques were used, and it included different types of ankle injuries. Some of the taping were done on the calf muscles, some around the ankle joint, while others taped the Achilles tendon. In my opinion, that would not be fair as different brands of tape would have been compared, there were different conditions, and different techniques were implemented. Not to mention that not everyone would have learnt how to tape appropriately since there are different brands of tape. It would be similar to comparing apples to oranges.

Some of the studies

Note to self. Even if it's a systematic review or meta analysis, make sure you read everything and not just the title and the conclusion. 

As clinicians, we would never just use Kinesio tape or any tape alone just to treat a patient. For the two patients mentioned above, we would never get optimal results just using tape on them. We use our hands to assess, mobilize and/ or manipulate their ankles, while others may use needles, ice, tape or even modalities to treat their patients. Others might teach exercises to get their patients better.

Should we stop using Kinesio tapes? Definitely not. If we use them correctly, they definitely work. Have a look at another of my patient after I use the original Kinesio tapes for just five hours. Scroll down to see more evidence.

Surely you can see the outline of the Kinesio tape


Nunes GS, Feldkircher JM, Tessarin BM et al (2020). Kinesio Taping Does Not Improve Ankle Functional Or Performance In People With Or Without Ankle Injuries: Systematic Review And Meta-analysis. Clinc Rehabil. DOI: 10.1177/0269215520963846

In the picture below is a patient with a hamstring tear.

Here's how his hamstring looked like 3 days later in the picture below. I have lots more photos like these in my phone of my patients. Contact me if you're still skeptical, I'll show you all the photos from my phone if you like to see them. 

3 days later

1 comment:

  1. I am also CKTI , and I have very similar results like Gino...And I totaly agree with Ginos opinion...