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Systematic review of musculoskeletal taping methods

Polakowski, Emily (2015) Systematic review of musculoskeletal taping methods. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Taping is a therapeutic technique used by many rehabilitation clinicians to treat musculoskeletal conditions. Various types of taping methods are in common use, such as Kinesio Tape, Mulligan, and McConnell. However, the literature is inconclusive about the effectiveness of these techniques, and a comprehensive look at all body regions and types of taping has not yet been performed. A systematic search through September 16, 2015 was performed of the following databases: PEDro, CINAHL, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Cochrane Central Register for Controlled Trials, PubMed, and PROSPERO. This search revealed a number of systematic reviews and individual randomized controlled trials (RCTs) regarding several musculoskeletal conditions and therapeutic taping methods.

The methodological quality of included systematic reviews was assessed using the AMSTAR checklist (1) and compiled into evidence tables. RCT searches were also completed and compiled into evidence tables, organized by type of taping method and musculoskeletal condition. Only trials that compared outcomes of pain and function were used; balance, proprioception, and EMG activity were not included in this systematic review. The methodological quality of these RCTs was measured using the PEDro scale(2). These PEDro ratings are provided in these evidence tables along with a summary description of each individual RCT.

Most trials were focused on Kinesio tape as well as the lower extremity, primarily the knee and ankle. The results demonstrate that taping for the knee can be beneficial in the short-term, but benefits disappear between groups over extended periods of time. Ankle bracing is more beneficial for the prevention of ankle injuries and recovery from ankle injury than ankle taping. Kinesio tape is effective for the improvement in function for patients with chronic low back pain. Taping also appears effective for patients with plantar fasciitis, and those with shoulder impingement syndrome can benefit in the short term from the addition of tape.
Recommendations from this systematic review for future researchers would include: a greater focus on the upper extremity, the addition of a control group to research designs, teasing out the effectiveness of taping from multiple interventions, and comparing different types of taping on similar body regions or musculoskeletal conditions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Polakowski, Emilyegp11@pitt.eduEGP11
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSchneider, Michael Jmjs5@pitt.eduMJS5
Date: 24 April 2015
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 10 April 2015
Approval Date: 24 April 2015
Submission Date: 23 April 2015
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 93
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: taping, athletic taping
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2015 17:56
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 14:27


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