A small study conducted in Korea has found that kinesiology tape may assist in reducing pain associated with delayed onset muscle soreness, commonly referred to as DOMS. DOMS is often felt after unaccustomed eccentric exercise and typically occurs 24 hours after the exercise load, peaking between 48 & 72 hours, and then resolving by 5-7 days.
This study involved 33 healthy young male subjects, randomly allocated to either a kinesiology taping group or a sham group that were taped with an inelastic tape. Baseline measures were taken, and then after a bout of eccentric exercise targeting the biceps brachii, the two groups were taped. They were then measured at 24, 48 and 72 hours post exercise regarding their pain levels. The measures used were a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and “Quantitative Sensory Testing” using a Thermal Sensory Analyser to attempt to gain objective data regarding pain/temperature thresholds.
The kinesiology taping group had slightly smaller VAS scores throughout the study but by 72 hours the kinesiology group’s pain threshold tests had returned to baseline measures, whereas the sham group’s measures had not. This indicates that the DOMS had resolved more quickly in the kinesiology taping group.
This study provides some early evidence that kinesiology taping may be helpful in reducing the length of time symptoms of DOMS are experienced, however further research with larger subject numbers are now required to validate this finding. Anecdotally, we have found that the “jellyfish” oedema application appears to give more favourable results in reducing DOMS than straight strip applications. This also needs to be researched further.
Bae, S., Lee, Y, Kim, G., & Kim, K., (2014). The effects of kinesio-taping applied to delayed onset muscle soreness on changes in pain. International Journal of Bio-Science and Bio-technology 6, 3, 133-142