Kinesio Taping Therapy

What is Kinesio Taping Therapy?

If you’ve watched sporting events, you’ve probably seen athletes wear Kinesio tapes. There are hundreds of kinesiology tape brands in the current market. The original “Kinesio TEX Tape” was launched in the 1970s. Its creator was a Japanese chiropractor called Dr. Kenzo Kase. He created strips of colorful kinesiology tape that were first used by athletes. They wore it across their shoulders, knees, backs, and other body parts.

Presently, this physiotherapeutic tape helps all types of people. It’s strategically applied to different body parts. The tapes can lessen pain, reduce inflammation, and provide support to injured body parts. Overall, injury victims use this stretchable and water-resistant tape to improve their physical performance. Kinesiology tape is adhesive and has elastic-like skin. It allows injured users to demonstrate full ranges of motion.

These sticky cotton and nylon tapes mimic the skin’s elasticity. By doing so, they lift the skin, creating spaces with the underlying tissues. The tissues underneath our skin have sensory receptors. They are responsible for detecting proprioception. Kinesiology tapes expand these tissues, sending positive signals to the brain. That’s why physical and sports therapists use Kinesio taping therapy to treat various types of injuries.

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Types of Kinesio Taping Therapy

There are different versions of this therapy. They depend on how the tape is applied. Physiotherapists determine the application and shape of the taping depending on the size of the injured muscles and the desired results. Here are the most common types of applying Kinesio taping –

  • “X” Tape Application: If the target muscle is mobile, physiotherapists use the “X” Tape application method. For example, Rhomboid injuries.
  • “Y” Tape Application: Physiotherapists use the “Y” tape application method when they need to prevent or enable muscle stimuli. The Y-shaped taping surrounds the target muscle and provides adequate relief. This application method is ideal for fascial corrections (directing movement of injured fascia).
  • “I” Tape Application: The “I” Tape application is helpful for treating acute injuries that “Y” taping can’t solve. For example, such taping provides sensory stimulations to assist or restrict the motion of injured limbs.
  • “Donut” Tape Application: This application style is mainly used for circulatory or lymphatic corrections. This taping helps move lymphatic fluid or blood from congested areas of the body to less congested areas. That’s why it’s ideal for treating Edema.

Risks of Kinesio Taping Therapy

This taping therapy method is completely safe. Physiotherapists never perform it over areas of active malignancy or fragile skin. They only use this therapy on patients with no allergy risks, infections, or open wounds. This therapy also impacts the movement of fluids from injured areas. Patients with diabetes, congestive heart issues, kidney diseases, and asthma should seek medical advice before receiving this therapy.

Benefits of Kinesio Taping Therapy

Kinesio Tape is very elastic. It can support the body without restricting its movements. Different application techniques achieve different treatment objectives. Physiotherapists can use it to –

  • Correct Join Alignments: This taping therapy provides mechanical corrections to joints. These corrections improve the patient’s stability and overall biomechanics. The taping also triggers fascial corrections. The direct movement of the fascia helps stiff joints heal faster.
  • Pain and Inflammation Reduction: When you apply Kinesio Tape on injured body parts, it unloads the core tissues. As these soft tissues decompress, they send signals indicating pain and inflammation reduction to the brain. When the sensory nervous system receives positive messages about pain and compression in the body, patients experience immense relief.
  • Joint Spacing - Kinesiology tape can create slight but significant spaces in-between different joints. This increase in space reduces the risk of joint irritation.
  • Healthier Circulation of Blood and Fluids – This taping reduces swelling in the damaged areas, improving blood flow in the skin. It also impacts the circulation of lymphatic fluids. These fluids contain bacteria and chemicals. The taping creates extra subcutaneous space underneath the skin. That change in space leads to a change in pressure. As the pressure gradient in the area changes, the flow of lymphatic fluid becomes more efficient.

Physiotherapists use kinesiology tape for treating injuries and for supporting fatigued muscles. They also use it to re-train unhealthy muscles. That’s why this taping therapy is extremely popular amongst athletes.

Kinesio Taping Therapy is Used to Treat What Conditions? 

Kinesiology Taping is used to treat conditions such as:

  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • IT Band Friction Syndrome
  • Patellofemoral Stress Syndrome
  • Tibialis posterior dysfunction
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Quadricep strains
  • Hamstring injuries
  • Tennis elbow

Who Shouldn’t Receive Kinesio Taping Therapy? 

Here are some circumstances where this taping therapy is not helpful:

  • Patients with active cancer.
  • People with open wounds, skin infections.
  • Deep vein thrombosis patients.
  • People with swollen lymph nodes.
  • Diabetes patients.
  • People who have skin that’s sensitive to adhesives.

Everyone should consult with physiotherapists before applying kinesiology tape.

How to Prepare for Kinesio Taping Therapy?

This therapy can last up to 3-5 days. Patients must mentally prepare to engage in daily activities while wearing this tape.

  • Visit the therapist with clean and dry skin.
  • Make sure the therapist cleans your skin using alcohol-based cleansers.
  • Allow the therapist to rub the tape so that it settles in.
  • Therapists ensure the tape mimics the qualities of your skin, so it may take some minutes to get used to its presence.

Recovery: What happens after Receiving Kinesio Taping Therapy? 

The only post-therapy tip patients need to follow is water management. Shower and exercise while wearing the tape. But, make sure the tape is not exposed to water. After wearing the tape for a few days, inform your physiotherapist about the effects, improvements, ill-effects, etc.

Related Therapies

After Kinesio Taping became popular, other types of taping therapies were also developed. Mulligan Taping and McConnell Taping are extremely similar to Kinesio Taping. There are also specific types of taping therapies for athletes and lymphedema patients.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Kinesio Taping Therapy Safe?
This taping therapy technique is safe and FDA-approved.
2. How Much Does Kinesio Taping Cost?
A of Kinesio taping typically costs around Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,200.
3. Do I Need Therapeutic Taping?
Taping therapy is part of larger physical therapy plans. Doctors recommend this therapy technique to help patients do hands-on work without any pain. Additional therapies may be recommended.

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