Effect of kinesiology patches on the relief of delayed-onset muscle pain: a randomized, placebo-controlled trial

Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is a well-known phenomenon that occurs after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise, especially when the exercise involves heavy eccentric contractions. 1 Theories for this phenomenon include lactate accumulation, muscle spasms, connective tissue damage, muscle damage, inflammation, and enzyme efflux theories.1,2
The study “Effect of Kinesiotherapy on Delayed Relief of Muscle Pain: A Randomized Placebo Controlled Trial” concluded that Kinesiotherapy (CT) is effective in reducing muscle pain after strenuous exercise. Soreness matters.
Symptoms of DOMS include muscle soreness, swelling, decreased range of motion, maximum strength and performance, as well as muscle damage and increased markers of inflammation in the blood. 3,4 The intensity of discomfort and soreness associated with DOMS increases during the first 24 hours, peaks at 24-72 hours, and finally subsides 5-7 days after exercise. 5
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of kinesio taping (CT) on delayed-onset muscle soreness in a randomized controlled trial. In this study, 54 non-exercising volunteers were randomly assigned to a CT group and a placebo CT group.
The vigorous exercise regimen included 100 consecutive jumps from a 0.60 m high platform, and kinesthetic tape was applied to the quads of the CT group using a scalloped technique. The CT placebo group received kinesio taping, but without technique and strain.
At 72 hours post-workout, the CT group experienced significantly less muscle soreness compared to the placebo CT group. At 72 hours post-workout, serum creatine kinase levels were significantly higher in the CT group than in the placebo CT group. The results showed that CT application after intense exercise reduced muscle soreness, while application after intense exercise also increased serum creatine kinase levels.
Kinesio tape for lymphatic drainage is an alternative treatment for DOMS. According to the CT manufacturer, the tape can cause microconvolutions or folds to appear in the skin, which can lead to skin peeling from underlying tissues. 7.8
The tightening effect of CT can help relieve pressure on the underlying soft tissues and create space for lymph flow. 9 The manufacturer also suggests that increased lymph movement may reduce swelling, pain, and muscle spasms, as well as improve range of motion and muscle strength. 7,8 Thus, CT can be expected to be an effective means of improving recovery after DOMS.
Several studies have examined the effect of CT on post-exercise muscle damage. 10-12 Lee (et al)10 reported that CT reduced pain and improved muscle function and strength compared to eccentric exercise in healthy men without CT.
This is the first randomized controlled trial to directly compare the time effect of CT on DOMS relief. This study shows that CT intervention after an intense exercise regimen reduces muscle soreness. However, CT failed to accelerate the recovery of muscle strength and vertical jump height. During the 72-hour recovery period, there was no effect of CT on the dynamics of the level of LDH, myoglobin and C-reactive protein in the blood serum.
The mechanisms underlying muscle soreness after strenuous exercise are unknown. It is likely that it may be involved in inflammation, especially in connective tissue components that sensitize nociceptors in muscles and therefore enhance pain perception. 22 Previous studies have shown that muscle soreness increases and peaks 48 hours after exercise and then decreases. 2,13,22
Cheung (et al.) 2 reported that one of the reasons that DOMS pain peaks within 48 hours is that muscle damage leads to an increase in muscle cell membrane permeability due to CK levels. Similarly, in this study, muscle soreness in both groups increased immediately after exercise, peaked 48 hours after exercise, and then decreased. Lee (et al)10 found that CT reduced muscle soreness by improving muscle strength and function compared to controls at 24, 48, and 72 hours after eccentric exercise. Huxever (et al.)12 also showed that CT after eccentric fatigue training reduced pain in DOMS on days 2 and 7.
In this study, the levels of muscle soreness were similar in the two groups immediately after exercise, but the reduction in muscle soreness was greater and started earlier in the CT group in the post-exercise measurements. This result suggests that CT is effective in reducing muscle soreness. The reduction in muscle soreness may be the result of the effect of CT on the subjective perception of pain.
Numerous studies have shown that muscle soreness leads to a decrease in vertical jump height immediately after exercise. 13,18 In this study, vertical jump height decreased immediately after exercise in the CT placebo group. However, the KT group began to decrease their vertical jump height 48 hours after training.
Vertical jump height also increased in the KT group between 48 and 72 hours post-training. Kase8 suggests that KT stimulates skin mechanoreceptors and increases circulation. Thus, CT can eliminate muscle swelling caused by strenuous exercise, especially eccentric contractions, and can improve muscle performance.
A limitation of this study is that interventions and measurements were only taken 72 hours after exercise-induced muscle injury, and full recovery from exercise-induced muscle injury was not monitored. Another limitation is the lack of blinding, which should be followed in CT clinical trials.
This is the first randomized placebo-controlled trial investigating the effect of CT on DOMS showing that CT can help reduce muscle soreness after strenuous exercise and that CT after strenuous exercise increases serum creatine kinase levels and protects muscles from damage.
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Post time: Sep-22-2022