There are a number of nonsurgical modalities used by athletes in attempts to improve performance or prevent, treat, and rehabilitate musculoskeletal injuries. A concise review of available evidence on common nonsurgical modalities used today is necessary so that practitioners may appropriately counsel patients.
A comprehensive review of relevant publications regarding Kinesio taping, sports massage therapy, and acupuncture from 2006 through 2019 was completed using PubMed and Google Scholar.
There have been numerous investigations evaluating the efficacy of nonsurgical modalities for a myriad of musculoskeletal conditions. There is some low level evidence to suggest the use of Kinesio tape for athletes with acute shoulder symptoms and acupuncture for carpal tunnel syndrome and as an adjunct treatment for low back pain. There is a need for higher quality research to better elucidate the effect of sports massage therapy on sports performance, recovery, and musculoskeletal conditions in general.
Nonsurgical modalities are low-cost treatment strategies with very few reported adverse outcomes that will likely continue to increase in popularity. High-quality studies are needed to effectively evaluate these treatments, so that care providers can provide appropriate guidance based on evidence-based medicine.

Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. on behalf of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.