Abstract| Volume 18, ISSUE 4, SUPPLEMENT , S86, April 2017

(449) Kinesio Tape for Pain Reduction: More than a Placebo Effect?

      Athletes, athletic trainers, chiropractors and many other people have used Kinesio tape to help alleviate pain symptoms. Currently, no clear reason exists as to why pain is relieved with the use of Kinesio tape and whether the analgesic effect is simply a placebo effect. Additionally, the most effective taping parameters (i.e., tension of tape) for pain reduction remain unknown. The purpose of this study was to determine if Kinesio tape applied at various tensions is effective in reducing pressure and heat pain sensitivity compared to a placebo condition and no tape. Nine healthy adults have been enrolled in this study. Participants completed four sessions. In each session, participants had pressure pain thresholds (PPT) and heat pain thresholds (HPT) assessed on their right forearm without Kinesio tape (pretest). Five minutes after PPT and HPT testing, a certified athletic trainer placed tape on the right forearm that had one of the following tensions: 0% (placebo), 25% (low tension), 75% (high tension), or no tape at all. After another five minutes, PPTs and HPTs were assessed again on the right forearm while the tape was in place (posttest). In order to analyze the data, paired t-tests were used to compare the pretest to posttest measures. For PPTs, the high tension condition increased (p=0.032) PPTs from pre (pretest= 473±201 KPA) to posttest (posttest=529±236 KPA). For HPTs, the low tension (Pre=44.9±3.2oC, Post=46.1±2.5oC) and high tension (Pre=44.7±3.6oC, Post=45.7±.3oC) conditions increased HPTs (p’s < .05). No significant differences were found in the other conditions. These results suggest that Kinesio tape’s analgesic effect is not just a placebo, with pain-reducing effects partially depending on the tension of the tape.