I wish to reply to the article “Kinesio Tape Help or Hype?” in the Phoenix on Friday, 7th April 2017 by Ms L Reilly.
Firstly, I want to highlight that Kinesio Tex Tape (KTT) is not K Tape or Kinesiology Tape. It is the original tape produced by Kensio Kase of Japan some 40+ years ago under the strictest scientific controls.
K Tape, Kinesiology tape, sport tape and others, which have been devised since, are made by other companies – they do not presume to do what Kinesio Tex Tape (KTT) does. They each work in different ways to support muscles whilst the muscle/ joint is active.
As Ms Reilly has pointed out there are several papers questioning the validity of each tape. Rightly so. It’s evident that prac- titioners are getting confused with the vari- ety available.
KTT was initially devised to work on the lymphatic drainage system and for increas- ing the blood supply to damaged muscles, from trauma or surgery. Its use ought to be kept in the hands of properly trained prac- titioners.
To state that any of these products are placebo in function is facile. Unless one has first-hand evidence that they are inef- fective, one ought to do the courses before writing articles without scientific basis.
If we as professionals are not scientific in our approach, our clients/patients will be at high risk. It is our responsibility to stay ahead of the crowd and know what works from what does not.
My advice to Ms Reilly and the Phoenix – do proper research, not Dr Google – before writing and printing libellous waffle.
Sharon Dixon Physiotherapist MCSP, MICSP, MAPA, CMP
My column “Keeping You Fit for Life” is an opinion piece. Having earned bachelor and master degrees majoring in physiotherapy and the title, APA Titled Sports Physiother- apist, I am qualified and entitled to present my opinion regarding the use of Kinesio tape (K-Tape) to treat sports injuries. The basis of my column regarding K-Tape was to highlight the fact that although high pro- file athletes are photographed wearing this tape, there is little scientific evidence to support its use.
I pride myself on my application of evi- dence based practice in all areas of my professional life. David Sacket, considered the godfather of evidence based practice, defines it as “the integration of individual clinical experience and the best external evidence”[i]. As a physiotherapist, when applying evidence based practice, I must not just rely on the “I have seen therefore I believe” approach that Ms Dixon espouses, I must also carefully and critically analyse the relevant research.
A simple PEDro (Physiotherapy Evidence Database) search for K-Tape supplies the latest, quality systematic reviews. A 2015 systematic review and meta-analysis pub- lished in BJSM analysing 17 clinical trials concludes “existing evidence does not es- tablish the superiority of K-Tape to other treatment approaches to reduce pain and disability for individuals with chronic mus- culoskeletal pain”[ii].
Another 2013 systematic review ana- lysed eight randomised controlled trials us- ing Kinesio Tex Tape (KTT) and concluded “there was limited to moderate evidence that KTT is no more clinically effective than sham or usual care tape/bandage” and “there currently exists insufficient evidence to support the use of KTT over other modalities of clinical practice”[iii].
It is true; I have not attended any K-Tape courses. Since the best external evidence does not support K-Tape’s use, why would I waste my time and money listening to the spin and rhetoric of marketing gurus who have monthly K-Tape targets to meet?
The fact is, a small fortune can be made from the sale of K-Tape and by training athletes to fear activity without my expert application of magic tape. However, until the research proves differently I cannot mor- ally or ethically recommend its use.
Linda Reilly Ba.APP.SC(PHTY),M.Hlth. Sc(PHTY),MAPA APA Titled Sports Physiotherapist
(i) David Sacket. Editorial. Evidence Based practice. What it is and what it isn’t. BMJ 1996;312:77
(ii) Lim ECW, Tay MGX Kinesio tap- ing in musculoskeletal pain that lasts for more than 4 weeks: is it time to peel off the tape and throw it out with the sweat? British Journal of Sports Medicine 2015 Dec;49:1558-1566
(iii) Morris D, Jones D, Ryan H, Ryan CG. The clinical effects of Kinesio Tex Taping: A systematic review. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 2013 May;29(4):259-270
This concludes the debate on this issue. Editor