Elastic Taping Application on the Neck: Immediate and Short-Term Impacts on Pain and Mobility of Cervical Spine

Abstract: The aim of this study was to measure the effects on three-planar active cervical range of motion (ACROM) and self-perceived pain of elastic taping (ET) application in the cervical area. Thirty participants (n: 22-M and 8-F, age 35.4 ± 4.4 years; body height 173.1 ± 8.4 cm; body mass 73.5 ± 12.8 kg) in the study group (SG) and twenty participants (n: 11-M and 9-F, age 32.6 ± 3.9 years; body height 174.9 ± 10.9 cm; body mass 71.2 ± 12.9 kg) in the control group (CG) were recruited. All subjects had neck and cervical pain in baseline condition. Each group performed an ACROM test and measured the perceived pain in the neck based on the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS 0–10, a.u.) at the baseline (T0), after 20′ from the ET application (T1), and after three days of wearing the ET application (T2). Between T0 and T1, an ET was applied to the cervical area of the SG participants. Statistical analysis did not show any significant change in CG in any measurement session for ACROM and neck pain parameters. Conversely, the SG showed significant improvements for ACROM rotation to the left (T0 64.8 ± 7.7°–T2 76.0 ± 11.1° p < 0.000) and right (T0 66.0 ± 11.9°–T2 74.2 ± 9.6° p < 0.000), lateral inclination to the left (T0 37.5 ± 6.9°–T2 40.6 ± 10.8° p < 0.000) and right (T0 36.5 ± 7.9°–T2 40.9 ± 5.2° p < 0.000), extension (T0 47.0 ± 12.9°–T2 55.1 ± 12.3° p < 0.001), and flexion (T0 55.0 ± 3.6°–T2 62.9 ± 12.0° p < 0.006). A significant decrease was also measured in SG for pain NRS between T0 and T2 (T0 7.5 ± 1.0°–T1 5.5 ± 1.4–T2 1.4 ± 1.5° p < 0.000). In conclusion, a bilateral and symmetrical ET cervical application is useful to enhance multiplanar ACROM and reduce subjective self-perceived cervical pain when it is needed. Based on the evidence, the use of ET on the neck is recommended for managing neck motion restrictions and pain in adult individuals.

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