The Evidence For The Effectiveness Of Taping To Reduce Pain Levels And Improve Function In Individuals With Subacromial Impingement Syndrome: A Systematic Review
(2013) The Evidence For The Effectiveness Of Taping To Reduce Pain Levels And Improve Function In Individuals With Subacromial Impingement Syndrome: A Systematic Review, no. 100.
Background Subacromial impingement syndrome (SAIS) is a multifactorial shoulder condition which results in pain and reduced functional ability. Although SAIS is a common shoulder condition, the current evidence-base regarding its treatment is limited. Tape is often applied as a treatment modality despite the fact that there is little evidence regarding its effects on SAIS. Objectives The primary aim of this systematic review was to evaluate the current evidence-base regarding the effectiveness of taping to reduce pain levels and improve function in individuals with SAIS. Search strategy Using pre-determined keywords, the databases CINAHL, Scopus, Medline, SPORTDiscus, PEDro and Google Scholar were searched to identify relevant articles in March of 2013. Selection criteria All study designs that evaluated the effects of taping on either pain levels or functional abilities of individuals with SAIS and that met pre-determined inclusion criteria were accepted. Data collection and analysis The methodological quality of the included articles was evaluated using the Effective Public Health Practice Project "Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies" and graded as being of strong, moderate or weak quality. Main results Eight studies graded as being of either moderate or weak quality met the inclusion criteria for this review. The accepted studies utilised five differing taping techniques combined with a variety of adjunct treatment interventions and were all of short duration. Using numerous outcome measures, five of the six studies that included a comparison group found that at various data collection periods, taping significantly improved pain levels and/or functional ability when compared to treatment techniques without therapeutic taping. Furthermore, two low quality studies found that taping significantly improved symptoms however they were not compared to a control group. Conclusions Based on the current systematic review, moderate quality evidence indicates that taping may be of benefit when short-term improvements are required for SAIS, however due to the methodological quality and a number of limitations of selected studies, no strong conclusions can be made. Further research is required before clinical suggestions can be made.