BMJ Case Reports 2017; doi:10.1136/bcr-2016-216695

Could kinesiology taping help mitigate pain, breathlessness and abdominal-related symptoms in cancer?

Open Access
  1. Mark I Johnson5
  1. 1Centre for Pain Research, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
  2. 2Coach House Sports Physiotherapy Clinic, Leeds, UK
  3. 3Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, School of Health Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, University of Manchester, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre, Manchester, UK
  4. 4Research and Innovation Division, Central Manchester University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre; Jean McFarlane Building, Manchester, UK
  5. 5Centre for Pain Research, School of Clinical and Applied Sciences, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Gourav Banerjee, g.banerjee{at}
  • Accepted 11 February 2017
  • Published 24 February 2017


We present the case of a woman who was an amateur athlete diagnosed with primary breast cancer, and 10 years later with terminal metastatic cancer. This case report was prepared posthumously in co-operation with her next of kin (husband). The patient first presented to a sports physiotherapist (AR) for her pain-management and to help maintain physical fitness so that she could continue with sports and an active lifestyle. The patient continued with physiotherapy for several months to enable her to be active. However, when her health deteriorated significantly due to advancing cancer, the treatment was modified and aimed at improving the patient's general well-being. The physiotherapist applied kinesiology tape over the patient's lower rib cage, diaphragm and abdomen in an attempt to manage pain, breathlessness and abdominal bloating. The patient reported alleviation of pain, breathlessness, abdominal discomfort and nausea, accompanied by improvements in eating, drinking, energy levels and physical function.


  • Contributors MIJ, MB and GB conceived the case report. AR executed the treatment at a clinic; other necessary information was provided by the patient's next of kin. AR undertook physiotherapy-related assessment and treatment responsibilities of this case. All authors contributed to the writing of the manuscript and approved the final manuscript.

  • Funding The Jane Tomlinson Appeal.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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