Date of Award


Degree Type

Selective Evidence-Based Medicine Review

Degree Name

Master of Science in Health Sciences - Physician Assistant


Physician Assistant Studies


Objective: The objective of this selective EBM review is to determine “Does the application of KT tape decrease pain in chronic low back pain?”

Study Design: A systematic review of three randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published between 2018 and 2019.

Data Sources: The three RCTs were published in English in peer reviewed journals and obtained from PubMed. The studies were selected based on their relevance to the clinical question.

Outcome Measured: The outcome measured within all three RCTs was pain intensity using the Visual Analog Scale (VAS). The VAS scoring ranges from 0 to 10, defining 0 as no pain and 10 as intolerable pain. Participants’ pain level was assessed before the intervention of KT tape and after at, which varied in length between studies.

Results: In the RCT led by Mengi et al., KT with fascia correction did not lead to a statistically significant reduction in pain compared to the sham KT group (P > 0.05), which was indicated by mean difference 0.4 between the two groups after 21 days. In the RCT led by Marcedo et al, KT tape (KTT) with tension led to statistically significant reduction in pain after 3 days as well as the sham KT group (P<0.001). The difference between their mean changes of 0.1 was calculated to not be clinically significant (P = 1.000). In the RCT led by Uzunkulaoğlu et al., KT tape led to a statistically significant reduction in pain compared to the control, indicated by a mean difference of 2.07 between the groups after one month of intervention.

Conclusion: The results from the separate three RCTs within this review were conflicting in determining if KT tapes reduction in pain intensity was clinically significant. The results of this review were inconclusive in evaluating application of KT as an effective method of adjunctive treatment for non-specific low back pain. Further studies should determine the gold standard technique of application as well as duration of treatment.