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Kinesio taping does not improve ankle functional or performance in people with or without ankle injuries: Systematic review and meta-analysis

Guilherme S Nunes, Jonatan M Feldkircher, Bruna Mariana Tessarin, Paula Urio Bender, Clarissa Medeiros da Luz, Marcos de Noronha
Clinical Rehabilitation 2021, 35 (2): 182-199

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether Kinesio taping technique, applied to ankles of healthy people as a preventive intervention and people with ankle injuries, is superior to sham or alternative interventions on ankle function.

DATA SOURCES: Medline, Embase, Amed, CINAHL, SPORTDiscus, Cochrane Library and Web of Science, from inception to August 2020.

REVIEW METHODS: The terms "ankle" and "kinesio taping" were used in the search strategy. Included studies were randomized controlled trials (including crossover design) investigating Kinesio taping effects on ankle functional performance compared to any alternative or control/sham technique.

RESULTS: From 5,572 studies, 84 met the eligibility criteria which evaluated 2,684 people. Fifty-eight meta-analyses from 44 studies were performed (participants in meta-analyses ranging from 27 to 179). Fifty-one meta-analyses reported ineffectiveness of Kinesio taping: moderate evidence for star excursion balance test (anterior direction), jump distance, dorsiflexion range of motion, and plantar flexion torque for healthy people (effect size = 0.08-0.13); low to very-low evidence for balance, jump performance, range of motion, proprioception, muscle capacity and EMG for healthy people; balance for older people; and balance and jump performance for people with chronic instability. Seven meta-analyses reported results favoring Kinesio taping (effect size[95% CI]): low to very-low evidence for balance (stabilometry, ranging from 0.42[0.07-0.77] to 0.65[0.29-1.02]) and ankle inversion (0.84[0.28-1.40]) for healthy people; balance for older people (COP velocity, 0.90[0.01-1.78]); and balance for people with chronic instability (errors, 0.55[0.06-1.04]).

CONCLUSIONS: Current evidence does not support or encourage the use of Kinesio taping applied to the ankle for improvements in functional performance, regardless the population.

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