I was recently asked a question about neck pain and Kinesio-Taping. Gonzales-Iglasias et al. (2009) studied the short term effectiveness of Kinesio-Taping on reducing pain and increasing cervical ROM in patients that have suffered an acute whiplash injury. They used 41 patients (21 females) for this particular study, and the subjects were randomly assigned to 2 groups. The experimental group received a Kinesio-Taping application (applied with tension) to the cervical spine, and the control group received a Kinesio-Taping application (applied with NO tension). Baseline data for pain and for cervical ROM were collected, then data was collected immediately following the application of the Kinesio-Tape to the cervical spine, and data was collected 24 hours later by an individual who was not aware to who received which particular intervention. The results showed that statically the Kinesio-Tape intervention group showed improvements in pain and increases in ROM. It was noted, however, that the improvements were small and may not be clinically significant. (Gonzalez-Iglesias et al, 2009) The study recommends that future studies on the long-term effectiveness of the application of Kinesio-Taping. Also, it recommended that studies be conducted on the potential enhanced outcome when Kinesio-Tape and physical therapy are used together (Gonzales-Iglesias et al, 2009) which was one of the original intent of the use of Kinesio-Tape.
Chiropractors, PT’s, AT’s & coaches frequently use Kinesio-Taping techniques in there practices. The majority of patients that I use tape on notice immediate results of reduction of pain and an increase in their ability to move that particular body part. The typical time-frame for application is around 3-4 days. I typically apply the Kinesio-Tape in a fashion that facilitates muscular contraction in the desired muscle group, by theory that the Kinesio-Tape provides afferent stimuli, that reduces the effects of pain inhibition on muscle function.
Gonzalez-Iglasias, J., Fernandez-De-Las-Penas, Cleland, J., Huijbregts, P., del Rosario Gutierrez-Vega, M. Short-Term Effects of Cervical Kinesio Taping on Pain and Cervical Range of Motion in Patients with Acute Whiplash Injury: A Randomized Clinical Trial. (2009) Journal of Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy. 39 (7): 515-521