Short-Term Effects of Kinesio Taping® on Electromyographic Characteristics of Paraspinal Muscles, Pain, and Disability in Patients With Lumbar Disk Herniation

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context: Kinesio taping® (KT) is a therapeutic modality frequently used in the clinical practice for the treatment of various musculoskeletal disorders. It is often applied in patients with chronic low back pain to decrease pain and improve functional capacity. However, it is not known, whether thoracolumbar fascia KT technique can decrease back pain, restore normal activity of paraspinal muscles, and improve functional capacity in patients with lumbar disk herniation (LDH). Objective: To evaluate the impact of 7-day new KT stabilizing application on lumbar paraspinal muscles function, pain perception, and disability in patients with LDH. Design: A randomized controlled trial. Setting: Human Performance Laboratory. Patients: A number of 38 patients with LDH were randomized into KT (n = 19) and placebo taping (n = 19) groups. Interventions: Both groups received the same “x” type application running over the back along fibers of superficial lamina of the posterior layer of thoracolumbar fascia. Main Outcome Measures: The primary outcome measures were flexion-relaxation and extension-relaxation ratios calculated from electromyographic activity of lumbar multifidus and longissimus thoracic muscles. Pain intensity rating (Quadruple Visual Analogue Scale), pressure pain thresholds of the lower back, Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire score, back extension force, and flexion range of motion (ROM) were among secondary outcomes. Results: KT application did not affect the lumbar multifidus and longissimus thoracic muscles flexion-relaxation and extension-relaxation ratios, lower back pressure pain thresholds, back flexion ROM, and back extension force (no group × time interaction [GTI]). KT and placebo taping comparably decreased disability level (time effect: F1,36 = 22.817, P < .001; GTI: F1,36 = 0.189, P = .67), average pain (time effect: F1,36 =39.648, P < .001; GTI: F1,36 = 2.553, P = .12), and the worst pain (time effect: F1,36 = 36.039, P < .001; GTI: F1,36 = 0.003, P = .96) intensity. Conclusion: Seven-day KT does not normalize lumbar paraspinal muscle function and is not superior to placebo in reducing disability and pain intensity in patients with LDH.

Grzes´kowiak, Lewandowski, and Łochyn´ski are with the Department of Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, Poznan University of Physical Education, Poznan´, Poland. Krawiecki is with the Division of Metrology and Optoelectronics, Institute of Electrical Engineering and Electronics, Poznan University of Technology, Poznan´, Poland. Łabe˛dz´ and Kaczmarczyk are with the Department of  Spondyloorthopaedics and Biomechanics of the Spine, W. Dega University Hospital, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Poznan, Poland.

Grzes´kowiak (grzeskowiak@awf.poznan.pl) is corresponding author.
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