The relative effectiveness of Kinesiotape versus dry needling in patients with myofascial pain syndrome of the trapezius muscle
Van der Westhuizen, Jan Hendrik
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Background: Therapeutic dry needling is an established modality for the treatment of myofascial pain, whereas limited research on Kinesiotape® exists. Kinesiotaping® is becoming popular, with the main benefit of being non-invasive and long wearing, thereby extending the treatment to the patient. This study aimed to determine the relative effectiveness of these two treatment modalities in patients with myofascial pain syndrome of the Trapezius muscle. Methods: The study design was a quantitative prospective randomised clinical trial. Fifty patients were equally and randomly allocated into either the dry needling or Kinesiotape® groups. Each patient received two treatments on separate visits to the upper trapezius muscle. Follow-ups were scheduled two to four days after the previous visit. Subjective measures were the Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and the Neck Disability Index (NDI), whilst objective measures were pain pressure threshold (PPT) and cervical range of motion (CROM). Results: Kinesiotape® demonstrated statistical significant treatments with the VAS (p < 0.001), NDI (p < 0.001) and PPT (p= 0.022) (95% CI). Dry needling showed statistical improvements in VAS (p= 0.001) and NDI (p < 0.001) only. Also, Kinesiotape® demonstrated a clinically significant improvement with the VAS when compared to the minimal clinically important differences (MCIDs). Trends of a superior treatment effect of Kinesiotape® over dry needling was observed in the VAS and PPT groups (p= 0.155; p= 0.428). Future studies could repeat the study with larger sample sizes to determine if these trends can be validated. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that Kinesiotape® was at least as effective as dry needling in the treatment of Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Therefore, Kinesiotaping® is a non-invasive alternative to dry needling. Kinesiotape® therapy resulted in a greater change in pain and disability scores than did dry-needling trigger point therapy, implying that Kinesiotape® may be a noninvasive alternative to dry needling.