Do we really have evidence that Kinesio taping improves ankle functional performance?
By Clinical Rehabilitation | 01 March 2019
Type:Systematic Review, Randomized, Cross-Over
Sample Size:20


Wang et al. have published in the journal Clinical Rehabilitation thw systematic review with meta -analysis entitled "Kinesio taping is superior to other taping methods in ankle functional performance improvement: a systematic review and meta-analysis." We congratulate the authors for their job in combining studies regarding the effects of Kinesio taping(KT), a technique widely used despite the lack of evidence supporting its clinical use.

We have published a study a few years ago which aimed at verifying the effect fo KT applied to the triceps surae of athletes on jumping performance and balance and we have read the review with special cusriosity because the systematic review's title suggests contrasting results compared to our study. Surprisingly, our study was not included in the systematic review performed by Wang et al. Our randomized crossover trial is a well-powered and high-quality study (8/10 Physiothereapy Evidence Database (PEDro) scale) with 20 athletes from different sports. The participants were assessed regarding jump (height and distance) and balance performance (star excursion balance test) under two conditions: with KT and with inelastic tape on the triceps surae. We found no difference in performance between the groups.

Our main problem we found in the systematic review by Wang et al. is that, according to their own inclusion and exclusion criteria, studies that used placebo KT as the comparison should not have been included in the review (inclusion criteria clearly states in Table 1, "Comparion/control - Comparion between KT and other non-elastic taping"; however, the authors decided to include five studies comparing KT and KT applied as placebo. We would agree that any type of placebo (rigid or elastic tape) should have been included; therefore, all studies with that same design should have been included. After a quick search we know at least another three studies could have been included. Overall, this lack of consistency between the criteria presented and the studies included creates doubts in whether the results presented should be trusted. These three extra papers referenced here were easily found at Medline when using the search strategy presented in the systematic review and meta-analysis.

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