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ISSN: 2165-7920
Journal of Clinical Case Reports
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Chronic Pain Treated Successfully with Novel Taping Therapy: A New Approach to the Treatment of Pain

Hwa Soo Hwang1, Bong Hyo Lee2* and Emily Bien3

1Saeng-Vit Oriental Medicine Clinic, Theosuperium, Bangbae-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea

2Department of Acupuncture, Moxibustion and Acupoint, College of Korean Medicine, Daegu Haany University, Gyeongsan, Republic of Korea

3F Eduard H’elert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, Maryland, USA

*Corresponding Author:
Bong Hyo Lee
Doctor of Korean Medicine, Ph.D., Department of Acupuncture
Moxibustion and Acupoint, College of Korean Medicine, Daegu Haany University
136 Shincheondong-ro, Suseong-gu, Daegu 42158, Republic of Korea
Tel: +82-53-819-1828
Fax: +82-53-819-1850; E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: July 09, 2017; Accepted Date: August 22, 2017; Published Date: August 25, 2017

Citation: Hwang HS, Lee BH, Bien E (2017) Chronic Pain Treated Successfully with Novel Taping Therapy: A New Approach to the Treatment of Pain. J Clin Case Rep 7: 1010. doi: 10.4172/2165-7920.10001010

Copyright: © 2017 Hwang HS, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Objective: We report four cases of obstinate pain treated successfully using a taping therapy, to inform readers a novel approach to the treatment of pain.

Cases: (a) Pain lasted for 26 years at forehead with no special sign under imaging examination; (b) pain had been around the styloid process of the 5th metatarsal after ankle sprain that occurred 3 months ago. Physical therapy worked for ankle pain but not for styloid process pain; (c) low back pain lasted for several months especially while sit on a floor; (d) heel pain lasted for 1 year and was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis.

Results: (a) Pain was not ameliorated with treatment of sternocleidomastoid. Tape was attached on the local then the pain dramatically decreased; (b) tape was attached on dorsal around the styloid process following the patient’s statement but produced no effect. After additional examination, tape was attached on the sole and the pain was markedly reduced; (c) tape was attached at sacrum following painful response. However, the first treatment’s effect did not recur during following treatments. After additional examination, painful response was found at the coccyx, not sacrum, as if the pain shifted. After attaching at coccyx, the pain disappeared; (d) tape was attached around heel following finger pressure examination. After additional self-treatments for 2 weeks, the pain disappeared.

Conclusion: Finger pressure eliciting painful response is useful for examination and evaluating the effect of treatment in chronic local pain. Regulating patient’s bioelectric currents can be a novel strategy for treatment of pain.


Pain; Chronic; Taping; Bioelectricity; Trigger point


Various forms of pain are extremely common worldwide; unremitting chronic pain greatly impacts an individual’s quality of life. In the USA, approximately 100 million subjects experience painrelated problems, and many deaths are associated with painkiller use [1]. Chronic pain affects up to 55% of the populations of some countries, being more prevalent in females [2]. In European countries also, pain compromises their population’s quality of life [3].

Generally, chronic pain is pain >3 months in duration [4], although other definitions are also used (for example, pain associated with treatment failure). Severe pain is often accompanied by psychiatric symptoms including depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, and neuroticism, all of which compromise treatment or render patients intolerant to therapeutics. Some cases respond well to painkillers such as opioids. However, pharmaceuticals do not always work or may actually be harmful [5,6]. Additionally, possible dependence, abuse, and addiction cannot be ignored. Therefore, a number of nonpharmaceutical therapies including complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) have been developed [7-12].

Of the CAMs, taping therapy has become of great interest; the therapy is non-invasive [13,14] and effectively controls pain [15-18], particularly muscle pain; taping controls muscle tension. Most research has been conducted on subjects with acute pain (<3 months in duration) and, thus, not chronic pain. Our novel taping therapy regulates bioelectric currents at problematic sites using silver and optical fibers. We reported earlier that our therapy improved psychiatric diseases (insomnia and depression) [19,20]. As chronic pain is often associated with psychiatric problems, we hypothesized that our therapy might aid those with chronic pain. Indeed, we have treated hundreds of cases who have gained rapid relief. Here, we describe unusual cases with chronic pain that we treated successfully; we present a new strategy for pain control.

Materials and Methods


The Chimsband (Saeng-Vit Oriental Medicine Clinic, Seoul, Korea) [19] containing silver and optic fiber was used.


Finger pressure examination: The sensitive or painful response was elicited as following: at first by pressing perpendicularly with finger at the local site; second, if a kind of solidification or stiffness was perceived, patient’s response was checked with slight rubbing.

Interventions: The method of treatment was just attaching tapes at the relevant sites after confirming sensitive or painful response against palpation or finger pressure examination.

Evaluation of improvement: Effects of treatment was evaluated by the followings: patient’s rating on the visual analogue scale (VAS: 10, worst; 0, perfect satisfaction) [21-23], ameliorations of symptoms, and decrease of area or intensity of the painful responses.

Ethic information: This study was performed in accordance with general ethical standard about case report under the consents written by the patients.

Case Presentation


History and examination: A 32-year-old female suffered from constant headaches commencing at 6 years of age. The pain was located to both sides of the forehead with the size of quarter dollar and persisted regardless of fatigue status. She had no accompanying symptoms. No medication was effective and she had discontinued all treatment. She had undergone computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging on several occasions but no specific problem had been identified.

She complained that the pain sites bulged and, if touched, became extremely painful. This was unlike our usual headache cases; patients habitually touched their painful sites. When the left pain site was carefully touched, the patient screamed. However, even strong finger pressure did not elicit pain in the surrounding area.

Treatment and progress: At the first visit, we performed acupuncture and ultrasonic massage, and then attached a type C Chimsband to the trigger points (TPs) of the sternocleidomastoid muscle (the pain sites were the referred pain regions of this muscle) [24]. At the second visit, the patient reported no effect; we repeated the treatment. At the third visit, she complained of a continued lack of effect and refused repeat treatment. However, when we carefully attached tape to the left pain site, the patient stated that the pain decreased markedly (Figure 1A). At the fourth visit, she observed that the left site was much less painful but the right site showed no improvement. Tape attachment to the right site caused the pain to resolve. We attached tapes daily over the following 5 days; the pain did not recur. We instructed the patient to attach the tapes at home, and, at the next visit 2 weeks later, she stated that she had attached the tapes twice and then stopped because the pain did not recur. Her forehead was no longer sensitive. The bulging was unchanged but the pain score (on a visual analogue scale (VAS)) decreased from 9 at the first visit to 1 at the last visit.


Figure 1: Attachment of type C of Chimsband at left forehead for headache (A) and pain of 5th metatarsal styloid process (B).

Foot pain

History and examination: A 32-year-old female with a limp complained of pain on the laterodorsal area of the right foot, which became extreme when stepping on a stone. Pain in the ankle joint and on the dorsal foot had commenced immediately after an ankle sprain 3 months prior. Although the ankle pain became markedly reduced upon 2 weeks of physical therapy in a hospital, the dorsal pain did not improve at all. Acupuncture had no effect. Palpation revealed that the most painful region was that around the styloid process of the fifth metatarsal bone. She had no accompanying symptoms except for a common digestive disorder.

Treatment and progress: After careful palpation, we attached a type C Chimsband at the pain site, around the fifth metatarsal styloid process. At the second visit, the patient still complained of pain. We repeated the procedure but, at the third visit, the pain had not improved. We extended the palpation and found that not only the dorsal side of the foot but also the sole was painful. When we attached tapes to the pain site on the sole and asked the patient to walk, she observed that the pain was greatly reduced (Figure 1B). On the next day, the pain had reduced further and walking became much more comfortable. The patient was treated three more times at 2-day intervals; the pain did not recur. The VAS scores were 8 at the first visit and 2 at the last visit.

Low-back pain

History and examination: A 58-year-old male with a robust physique complained of low-back pain, which was evident when sitting on the floor, but not when lying down, standing, or walking. He explained that he was a Buddhist monk and needed to pray daily for 1-2 h while sitting on the floor. However, the pain made this impossible; a cushion was not helpful. The pain had commenced in the absence of trauma and had gradually increased over the past several months. An X-ray revealed nothing specific. Acupuncture and physical therapy over 2 months produced no effect. He had no additional symptom. On palpation, we found a painful response around the second spinous process of the sacrum.

Treatment and progress: The pain decreased after attachment of a type C Chimsband at the painful site (Figure 2A). On the next day, the pain was markedly reduced and we repeated the treatment. However, after three more daily treatments, the patient stated that the improvement evident after the first treatment had not been sustained. On repeat palpation using finger pressure, the painful response evident at the first visit had shifted to below the coccyx. We attached tape to all the response sites and he then felt better when sitting. On the next day, the patient stated that he could pray for 1 h in a sitting position. We performed an additional three treatments; the pain did not recur and, after the final treatment, the VAS score had fallen from 8 to 3.


Figure 2: Attachment of type C of Chimsband for sacral pain (A) and heel pain (B).

Heel pain

History and examination: A 59-year-old female complained of right-side heel pain of 1 year in duration; she could not walk for long. She was finally diagnosed with plantar fasciitis at a University hospital but neither injections nor physical therapy had any effect. Acupuncture and soft shoes were not helpful. On palpation using finger pressure, strong pain was evident over a broad area of the plantar heel and on the side of the heel.

Treatment and progress: We attached type C Chimsbands at all painful sites (Figure 2B) and asked her to walk; she reported that the pain was reduced. We showed the patient how to attach the bands herself because she could not visit frequently. At the next visit, she stated that daily self-treatment for 1 week had been very effective; she rarely felt any pain. On re-examination, the painful response was greatly reduced. One month later, she reported that she had performed self-treatment only three more times because the pain disappeared and did not recur. The VAS score fell from 8 to 2.


In the headache case, we used our usual acupuncture and ultrasound therapy to treat the sternocleidomastoid muscle because the pain appeared to be referred from the TPs of that muscle, but the therapy was unsuccessful. In addition, the extreme pain elicited by even a gentle touch and the bulging sign suggested that the pain was not attributable to the muscle TPs. We attached tapes to the pain sites and the pain was immediately relieved.

In the foot pain case, the pain at the fifth styloid process was not relieved by attaching tapes to the pain sites on the dorsal foot. We had examined the dorsal foot only. On re-examination, we found that the sole was also painful; the pain disappeared after tape attachment.

In the low-back pain case, the sacral pain decreased soon after treatment but the patient was not satisfied with the outcome. On broader palpation, we found a painful site in the coccyx; the pain had shifted. Following tape attachment, the pain greatly improved.

In the heel pain case, we found painful responses not only at the plantar heel (below the calcaneus bone) but also laterally; we attached tapes. When walking immediately after attachment, the pain was markedly reduced. Following self-treatment for less than 2 weeks, the 1-year-old heel pain disappeared.

Our taping therapy effectively eliminated chronic pain caused by local conditions, not central problems; all patients exhibited pain responses on finger-pressure examination. Local pain may develop at muscle TPs, which are the muscle solidification points. TPs are sensitive or painful when subjected to finger-pressure examination, and their temperatures are higher than those of their surroundings. Importantly, this is associated with bioelectric current deviances [24-26]. Therefore, normalization of the bioelectric current is important when treating local pain; we used finger pressure to delineate the pain sites. Bioelectricity contributes to the repair of wounds, burns, or amputations [27], and is important when treating pain.

Chimsbands regulate bioelectric currents because they contain silver and optical fibers, both of which are highly conductive. Such tape, applied to sites exhibiting deviant bioelectrical currents, promotes the interchange of such currents between an abnormal localized area and the normal surroundings, thus tending to equalize the currents and relieve pain. The effects are rapid and the therapy is non-invasive and, thus, safe. The therapy is convenient and simple. The effects appear immediately after tape attachment, because they are current-mediated. We evaluated the therapeutic effects by noting decreases in the pain responses to finger pressure, pain reduction during motion (i.e., walking), and VAS score improvements (from 8 or 9 (worse) to 1-3 (better)), as widely performed in clinical studies [21-23].

In our third case, it was notable that the original pain decreased but pain then developed elsewhere; the pain shifted. When we moved the position of the tape, the pain was eliminated. The difference in the bioelectric currents between the painful site in the coccyx and the normal surroundings was reduced via active current interchange.


In summary, we found that pain elicitation using local finger pressure aided in examination and evaluation of treatment effects in patients with chronic pain. In addition, the regulation of bioelectric currents by attachment of conductive tape (Chimsband) is a novel strategy for the treatment of chronic pain, and taping constitutes a useful therapy.

Consent Statement

Written informed consents were obtained from the patients with permission to publish. Copies of the written consents are available for review by the editor of this journal.

Competing Interests

There are no commercial interests relating to this article, with the exception of Dr. Hwang who has a Korean patent on the Chimsband® tapes.

Authors’ Contribution

Hwa Soo Hwang treated patients, made initial figures, and drafted in Korean. Bong Hyo Lee revised figures, drafted in English, and finalized the manuscript. The other authors discussed and wrote the manuscript together. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.


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