Kinesiotaping  is a therapeutic technique that uses special type of tape called Kinesiotape. The Kinesiotape is elastic (it can stretch 40-60% of its resting length) and allows for different applications with different benefits depending on what we are trying to achieve with the taping. The main concept on which Kinesiotaping  works is that by applying the Kinesiotape on the skin under certain tension the skin is lifted away from underlying tissues allowing more space for interstitial fluid to move. It allows for and assists in normal circulation/lymphatic flow, decreases pain, assists muscle function, affects fascial tissue and can improve joint function. [Clinical Therapeutic Applications of the Kinesio Taping Method; Dr.Kenzo Kase, Jim Wallis, Tsuyoshi Kase, 2013]

What are the different applications of Kinesiotape?

Kinesiotape can be applied in many different ways depending on what we are trying to achieve or correct. Some of the applications include:

  • lymphatic drainage - tape is applied over swelling in a specific way and assists with moving the excess fluid towards the lymph nodes; it is being used in conjunction with other lymphatic drainage techniques to help decrease the swelling
  • support - tape is applied over the affected muscles, tendons or ligaments and helps to offload some of the tension 
  • restriction of movement / stabilisation - Kinesiotape can be applied at higher stretch over unstable joint in a similar way to traditional zinc-oxide tape used in injury prevention in sports (e.g. taping ankle before basketball game) - the advantage of the elastic tape is that whilst it restricts the movement considerably it doesn't restrict circulation and some small movement is still possible within safe limits
  • myofascial pain relief - the gentle pressure can help to dissipate pain
  • muscle relaxation and muscle facilitation - depending on the way the tape is applied to the muscle it can either work as help to decrease or increase the tone and contractibility of the muscle
  • correction - tape can be applied after your therapist has corrected your posture to maintain this correction for longer - the Kinesiotape will not hold you in the correct position but getting out of the correct posture will "pull" the taped skin and remind you to correct yourself again; also if a joint is misaligned and corrected by the therapist, the Kinesiotape will maintain this position allowing the supporting structures of the joint to readjust and maintain the corrected position after the tape has been removed after a period of time
  • sensory awareness - the gentle pressure of the tape allows for better sensory awareness of whichever body part
  • application for scaring - the tape can help with releasing adhesions and remodelling scar

What conditions benefit from kinesiotaping?

The kinesiotaping is an effective and gentle method on how to help treating many conditions across the medical field including orthopaedics, neurology, musculoskeletal, respiratory, paediatrics, rheumatology, oncology. It is usually used in conjunction with other medical and therapy interventions. The list of conditions is extensive and includes: 

  • muscle injuries
  • back pain/neck pain
  • plantar fasciitis
  • shoulder impingement
  • tennis/golfers elbow
  • ankle sprain
  • knee pain
  • hip pain
  • joint instability
  • hypermobility
  • poor posture
  • multiple sclerosis
  • stroke
  • cerebral palsy
  • asthma
  • lymphoedema
  • CRPS
  • carpal tunnel
  • DeQuervain's
  • stiffness in fingers
  • ... and many more