Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Kinesio Taping

What is it?

Kinesio tape is an elastic adhesive tape made with cotton fibres. It was originally developed by a chiropractor by the name of Dr Kenzo Kase in 1979. It is a hypoallergenic tape that is also latex free and generally water-resistant. It should stay on for up to 3-5 days. Due to its elasticity, it generally does not limit range of motion and often does not feel restrictive.


How does it work?

The application of Kinesio tape causes a lifting affect to the skin forming convolutions (wave like effect in soft tissue). Theories suggest that these convolutions will increase the space between the skin and its underlying structures and hence reduce the pressure in this area. This may encourage tissue regeneration, decrease inflammation, reduction in pain and improved movement of fluid in and out of the targeted area.

The application of tape onto the skin is also thought to affect the sensory nervous system in the muscles and joints. This in turn may result in either activation or relaxation of the muscles to enhance functional performance. Also, Kinesio tape in full stretch, has the potential to provide support and stability to joints.

What is it used for?

  • To help reduce oedema or inflammation
  • Stimulate or relax muscles
  • Fascial lift or fascial correction
  • Functional correction of joints (i.e. assist or limit motion in joints)
  • Mechanical correction to muscles or joints (i.e. provide a “blocking’ action of joint or tissue movement)

Common injuries we use it for:

  • Muscle strains and tears
  • General muscle activation or relaxation to aid with functional movements or to enhance performance
  • Patellofemoral joint dysfunction
  • Scapula and/or shoulder instability
  • Tendon pain



  • Active Malignancy
  • Infections (e.g. Cellulitis)
  • Open Wounds
  • Previous severe allergic reactions to adhesive tape
  • Presence of deep vein thrombosis


  • Diabetes
  • Sensitive skin
  • Thin Skin (common in the elderly)


Skin preparation:

  • The skin should be cleaned prior to application of the tape to ensure it is free from oils, lotions and liniments etc. You may clean the area with soap and water or alcohol wipes.
  • Ensure the skin is dry before applying tape.
  • Body hair may also limit adhesion and the area may need to be shaved.

Once the tape is applied:

  • The adhesive on the tape is heat activated, therefore rubbing it with your hands once it is applied will assist in the adhesiveness of the tape.
  • Do NOT use a hair dryer on the tape as you will risk burning yourself.

  • The tape is water resistant and does not need to be removed if it becomes wet. Simply dry the area with a towel and allow to air dry.

Removal of tape:

  • Remove the tape immediately if it causes any adverse reactions e.g. an increase in pain/symptoms or itchiness.
  • It is generally easier to remove the tape when the tape is moist, after the shower is usually the most convenient time.
  • It is best to either ‘lift and roll’ or ‘lift and push’ to remove the tape from your skin.
    • ‘Lift and roll’ – try to lift the edge of a tape and once lifted use the base of your thumb or palm to roll the tape off the skin bit by bit.
    • ‘Lift and push’ – lift the edge of the tape from the skin and whilst maintaining some tension to the skin, push the skin away from the tape bit by bit.
  • If an edge of the tape has lifted during the application