Uncovering the Myths and Magic of Kineseo Tape








What is that brightly colored tape covering athletes

at your favorite sporting event?
***Kinesio Tape***


Thanks to the 2008 Olympic games, Kinesio tape

became a household name.  Previously, just

purchased through athletic trainer or physical

therapist suppliers, you can now buy this product

on the shelves at your local drug store.


This elastic tape is made of cotton and nylon fibers.

It is used to support damaged or otherwise

compromised soft tissue (muscles, tendons, and



It’s many uses and benefits include:

  • pain reduction
  • improved circulation
  • decreased local inflammation
  • aid to recovery
  • improved movement patterns


The Biggest Myth About Kinesio Tape.


Despite, the many devoted athletes that swear by

Kinesio Tape, many believe there is little evidence

to support it’s use.  It is true that the jury still may

be out if you look at the research. One study

showed little evidence in improved strength ROM

when used in uninjured athletes for the purpose

of performance.


However, you can look to several other studies

that support it’s use.  The following studies found

significant benefit when kinesio tape was

combined with a physical therapy guided exercise



1. One study found this combination as effective

in both pain reduction and return to functional

activities as a steroid injection in types of shoulder



2. A recent study showed improvement of hand

function in patients with rheumatoid arthritis


3. When used with low back pain patient’s, there

was a decrease in pain medication use


4. In weeks 1-4 following a knee replacement

surgery, patient’s using tape showed decreased

edema, less pain, and improved knee extension.


Some argue, the benefits are a result of the placebo

effect.  Maybe so.


However, with a concoction of research based

evidence and anecdotal feedback from our clients

we believe there is a true benefit.  Add on my

personal experience and I am sold.


The Magic of Kinesio Tape.


The manufacturer of one brand of kinesio tape

explain 3 main effects that make it amazing:


1. Fluid – it changes lymphatic and blood flow

to help heal tissue


2. Mechanical – it improves glide between

tissue layers for better movement


3. Neurological – it alters the pain perception

and improves body awareness


One of the benefits I appreciate is that it can

work around the clock for several days.  When

you leave the clinic, we can’t go with you.

However, the kinesio tape can.  It can continue

to remind you of your posture, cue you to

correct dysfunctional patterns, and ease the

pain of sore structures.


Your pain pill can’t do all that!




Most importantly, it is an adjunct to not a

replacement for the appropriate rehab your

injury requires.


The Youtube Fame of Kinesio Tape.


Yes you can buy kinesio tape on Amazon, have

it delivered to your door in 2 business days, and

watch youtube videos on how on to apply it

according to your injury.  It really isn’t hard to



I agree that kinesio tape can be correctly applied

on your own, or with the help of a partner for

hard to reach areas.  But first, I believe you need

to be instructed by a trained professional.


See, the amount of pull, direction of pull, length,

and location of the tape is very specific to the

required outcome  Other factors for application

include your body type, the activities you

participate in, and the true source of your injury.


True, your knee may be hurting and Youtube

can tell you how to tape your knee.  But, if the

true source of your knee pain is a problem at

your hip, that is where the tape may need to be



As a therapist, we apply our knowledge of the

anatomy of muscles and fibers to facilitate the

appropriate healing process.  We can then

provide you with the instruction on how to do

it yourself if it is something you will continue to

benefit from.


Although there are no real negative side effects

to this taping technique, if applied incorrectly it

can cause more harm than good.  In addition,

always be careful not to place tape on an open

wound or infection.


Also, avoid it if you have a previous adverse

reaction to adhesives, peripheral neuropathy or

“numb” areas, or have very thin fragile skin.

Your therapist will evaluate the integrity of your

skin prior to application.


Since there are no harmful medications or

challenging movements required to participate,

my personal favorite use of kinesio tape is

during pregnancy and nursing.


It can have significant benefits on shoulder,

back, and pelvic pain as well as providing support

and positioning needed for comfort during the

last tough weeks of pregnancy.


In conclusion, Kinesio Tape does have it’s place

in rehab and athletic training.  Not a cure all, but

one technique to you get back in the game (or life)



Sporting Kinesio Tape, post a pic on Facebook

and tag us Peak Potential Physiotherapy &

Wellness.  If you think taping techniques may

benefit you, request a call from our staff HERE.