This study investigated the short-term effects of Kinesio taping (KT) on various types of pain, active range of motion (AROM), and proprioception in patients with knee osteoarthritis.
Forty-six older participants (mean [SD], 57.9 [4.4] yrs) with osteoarthritis were randomly allocated to two groups: the KT group or the placebo-KT group. Taping with tension (KT application) or without tension (placebo-KT application) was applied to the quadriceps of the participants in both groups. Before and after intervention, pain intensity was measured using a visual analog scale at rest and during walking, and pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) were assessed using an algometer in the quadriceps and the tibialis anterior. In addition, pain-free AROM and proprioception were measured.
The KT group showed attenuation of pain during walking (effect size [ES], 1.97), PPT in the quadriceps (ES, 2.58), and PPT in the tibialis anterior (ES, 2.45). This group also showed significantly improved AROM (ES, 2.01) and proprioception (ES, 1.73–1.89; P < 0.05). However, the placebo-KT group did not show significant changes in pain, AROM, or proprioception. There were significant differences between the two groups in pain during walking and PPT. In addition, pain during walking showed a significant correlation with AROM and proprioception, and a significant correlation was found between PPT and AROM.
These results demonstrated that KT application with proper tension to the quadriceps effectively attenuates various types of pain and improves AROM and proprioception in osteoarthritis patients. Thus, KT may be a suitable intervention to improve pain, AROM, and proprioception in patients with osteoarthritis in clinics.