Short-Term Effect of Kinesio Taping
Versus Cervical Thrust Manipulation in Patients with Mechanical Neck Pain: A
Randomized Clinical Trial.

Saavedra-Hernández  M, Castro-Sánchez AM, Arroyo-Morales M,
Cleland JA, Lara-Palomo IC, and Fernández-de-las-Penas. J Orthop Sports Phys
Ther. 2012;42(8):724-730.

neck pain is a common ailment which can affect as much as 33% of the
population. While manual therapy is often performed, a gold standard for
managing mechanical neck pain has yet to be determined. Also supported for
managing mechanical neck pain is the use of Kinesio Tape, although there is
limited evidence to support this. Therefore, Saavedra-Hernández  and colleagues completed a randomized
clinical trial comparing manual therapy to Kinesio Taping. The primary outcomes
measured were neck pain intensity, disability, and cervical range of motion. A
total of 93 patients were screened for eligibility. Participants were excluded
if the following criteria were met: a) contraindication to neck manipulation,
b) history of whiplash, c) history of cervical surgery, d) diagnosis of
cervical radiculopathy or myelopathy, e) diagnosis of fibromyalgia
syndrome, f) previous spinal manipulation therapy or Kinesio Tape therapy, h)
tape allergies, and i) younger than 18 or older than 55 years old. Thirteen participants
were excluded from the study leaving 80 to undergo baseline testing. Baseline
testing was comprised of completing demographic and clinical information,
numeric pain rating scale, the Neck Disability Index, and a body diagram to assess the
location and distribution of pain. Participants were then randomly allocated to
a “tape group” or “manipulation group”. The person performing the assessments
was blinded to what group participants were assigned to and the participants
were not told what their treatment was being compared to.  Participants in the tape group received a “Y” strip placed over the
posterior cervical extensor muscles with an overlying strip placed
perpendicular to the “Y” strip over the midcervical region. Participants wore
the tape for the duration of the study (7 days). Participants in the
manipulation group received 2 separate cervical thrust manipulations. One
directed at the midcervical spine (C3) and the other at the cervicothoracic junction (C7-T1). Participants (n = 76) returned for
follow-up 7 days post-intervention where all tests from baseline were repeated.
Overall, both Kinesio Tape and cervical thrust manipulation resulted in similar
reduction in neck pain, which was considered clinically meaningful. Both
therapies also increased cervical range of motion although the changes were
small and not clinically relevant.

This study
presents an interesting look at reducing pain in patients with mechanical neck
pain. While cervical thrust manipulations may be the more common treatment,
Kinesio Tape may also be considered as a comparable treatment option. While both
methods appeared to show similar analgesic abilities, one should approach this
with caution. During follow-up, 5 participants reported adverse reactions to
their treatment. Three of these participants were in the manipulation group and
reported increase in neck pain or fatigue after manipulation. The 2 participants
in the tape group that reported adverse reactions described cutaneous
irritation. Perhaps if both treatments elicit similar analgesic abilities
Kinesio Tape could be the more beneficial treatment because it does not cause
as many, or as severe, adverse reactions as cervical spine manipulation. Tell
us what you think. Have you used either of these treatments to treat mechanical
neck pain? If so, have your patients expressed any preferences or adverse
reactions to the treatment?

Written by: Kyle
Reviewed by: Jeffrey

Related Posts:

Saavedra-Hernández M, Castro-Sánchez AM, Arroyo-Morales M, Cleland JA, Lara-Palomo IC, & Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C (2012). Short-Term Effects of Kinesiotaping Versus Cervical Thrust Manipulation in Patients With Mechanical Neck Pain: A Randomized Clinical Trial. The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy PMID: 22523090