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Daniel Yanek*, Weiqing Ge
Physical Therapy, Youngstown State University

PURPOSE: The purpose of this research report is to compare the effectiveness of a facilitory and an inhibitory Kinesiotape technique in treating chronic low back pain.
BACKGROUNDS/SIGNIFICANCE: Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common musculoskeletal disorders that can be difficult to treat. Although most symptoms of LBP resolve without any treatments, LBP can become chronic and debilitating. The largest cost components for care of LBP are physical therapy, inpatient services, pharmacy and primary care. In the United States, LBP accounts for significant workday and productivity loss.
Kinesiotape (KT) is believed to improve joint biomechanics and alignment, reduce protective muscle guarding, and enhance kinesthetic awareness. There are two commonly used techniques: facilitory and inhibitory. The facilitory technique is proposed to facilitate the normal movement and the inhibitory technique is purported to inhibit muscle contraction. KT is an ideal option for chronic LBP due to its less invasive feature and its ability to be applied and worn for a prolonged period of time.
Although KT has been used in treating LBP, there has been a lack of evidence to support its promotion with rigorous research. It was recently reported that patients with chronic LBP had a significant reduction in symptoms after treatment with a facilitory KT technique. However, it is not clear if the inhibitory technique has a similar effect or is more effective in treating chronic LBP.
The significance of this project is to identify a more appropriate taping technique to improve the effectiveness of KT in treating chronic LBP.
SUBJECTS: This is a single system study with n=1. The subject was a 43-year-old female university professor with over 14 years of chronic LBP. The subject performed high intensity cardiovascular exercises along with Taekwondo every week. Reported daily difficulty with sitting, lying in bed, squatting, and lifting were noted.
METHODS AND MATERIALS: The single-system design with 5 phases (A1BA2CA3) was used. At the end of each phase, the Patient Specific Functional Scale (PSFS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) were administered and measured. At the beginning of phase B, a facilitory technique was applied. At the beginning of phase C, an inhibitory technique was applied. A KT-certified clinician applied the taping techniques.
ANALYSES: This is a single-system design and data analysis is descriptive.
RESULTS: For PSFS, the subject's function for sitting was 4 at the beginning of the experiment in phase A1 and went up to 7 in phase B. Her function for sitting increased to 9 in phase A2 and 10 in phase C. At the end the experiment, her function for sitting reduced to 7 in phase A3. Similarly, the subject's function for lying in bed was 5 at the beginning of the experiment in phase A1 and went up to 6 in phase B. Her function for lying in bed was kept at 7 in phase A2 and increase to 10 in phase C. At the end the experiment, her function for sitting reduced to 8 in phase A3. Also similarly, the subject's function for lifting and squatting was 6 in phase A1 and was kept the same in phase B. Her function for lifting and squatting increased to 7 in phase A2 and increased to 9 in phase C. At the end the experiment, her function for sitting reduced to 7 in phase A3.
For the ODI, the subject's disability was moderate (22%) at the beginning of the experiment in phase A1. Her disability was reduced to minimal for all other 4 phases with decreasing to 16% in phase B, increasing to 20% in phase A2, decreasing to 12% in phase C, and 20% in phase A3.
CONCLUSIONS: The data indicated that both facilitory and inhibitory techniques improved the subject's level of function and decreased her disability. These results were consistent with the data of previous research. In addition, for this subject, the inhibitory KT technique appears to be a more effective treatment compared to the facilitory technique.
This research report provides information for the management of chronic LBP with KT.
KEYWORDS: kinesiotape, Low back pain, facilitory and inhibitory

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