HOW DOES KINESIOLOGY TAPE WORK?

KINESIOLOGY TAPE is used in so many different settings and sports, but if you strip away all the fancy words and stick to the science, there’s still NO CLEAR ANSWER to ‘HOW DOES KINESIOLOGY TAPE WORK?’. ⁠

HOWEVER, we can draw some informed ideas based on the research and anecdotal evidence from using tape in clinical practice. Most of the below comes directly from our own experts and Academy Directors – Rob Madden and Patrick Harding.

HOW DOES KINESIOLOGY TAPE WORK?

1. THE MECHANICAL EFFECT

How Does Kinesiology Tape Work? K Tape Effects on the skin diagram showing lifting effect.

The recoil of K-tape creates a LIFTING MOTION on the skin. This creates space between the top layer of the skin & underlying tissues. This reduces pressure on pain receptors within the skin, and reduces resistance to LYMPHATIC DRAINAGE.

The lymphatic system is responsible for removing waste substances, excess fluids & cellular debris from the blood stream. The lifting action of K Tape REDUCES COMPRESSION on the affected area. This allows fluids to move into the lymphatic vessels more easily.

It is also theorised that the wave pattern on the tape creates areas of HIGH and LOW pressure (Much like a snaking river). This aids circulation and lymphatic flow beneath the tape. Nifty eh?

2. NEUROSENSORY RESPONSE

K Tape can be used to target the neuromuscular system, providing muscles and areas of pain with a SENSORY BOMBARDMENT that can help to reduce the feeling of PAIN. In other words, Kinesiology Tape works by tricking the brain into forgetting about the area of pain, as it suddenly has to focus on lots of different sensory inputs.

There is also something to be said for the PROPRIOCEPTIVE element of K Taping. Taping in clinical practice has shown that providing an area with a new sensory input can lead to enhanced motor control, meaning movements can be performed more accurately.

This can be really beneficial during new REHAB PROGRAMS where alignment during movements is so essential. If a patient can perform rehab exercises with reduced pain, then they are more likely to buy-in to the program and make a full recovery.

Remember, when it comes to K Taping, there are NO RULES. ONLY GUIDELINES. So don’t be afraid to try out new applications and form your own theories around how K Tape works.

Now that you know the theory of How Kinesiology Tape works, it’s time to put it into practice. Buy the best K Tape you’ll ever use below.

KINESIOLOGY TAPE RESEARCH

K Tape WORKS. We’ve seen it, we’ve felt it, and we stand by it.
Don’t take our word for it though. Check out the Kinesiology Tape Research below.

We’re big fans of clinical practice. Taking feedback from the thousands of phyios, therapists and athletes that use our tape every day. It’s what guides our teaching, and our claims.

If you prefer hard-hitting science though, we’ve got some great research to get your nose into.

If you’d like to get to grips with some of the current research then take some time to read the abstracts below. You can download the full papers by heading to sporttape.co.uk/research. There’s over 30 of them waiting for you.

KINESIOLOGY TAPE RESEARCH

Wong, Cheung and Li, 2012

This study examined the difference in the isokinetic knee performance in healthy subjects using a Kinesiology tape application on the skin surface overlying the vastus medialis. The investigation demonstrated the application of K tape did not alter the muscle peak torque generation and total work done but did shorten the time to generate peak torque. This finding may contribute to the rationale in injury prevention and rehabilitation in athletes with K taping.

Tsai, Chang and Lee, 2008

An investigation into the therapeutic effects of kinesiology taping on plantar fasciitis. It was concluded that additional treatment with continuous kinesiology taping for one week might alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis better than the treatment with only physical therapy.

Morrissey, 2015

Proprioceptive shoulder taping is a useful adjunct to expert manual and exercise therapy in the management of shoulder girdle pathology and dysfunction. Taping is a useful adjunct to improve mobility and reduce pain, and has the particular advantage of lasting well beyond the patient-therapist contact thus extending the duration of therapeutic stimulus.

Pamuk & Yucesoy, 2015

A study into the effects of Kinesiology Taping on superficial tissues using MRI analyses. The study showed that kinesiology taping affects much more than just the targeted superficial tissues and causes heterogeneous deformations within the whole limb. Kinesiology Tape affects the underlying tissues, both immediately targeted and distant.

KINESIOLOGY TAPING AFFECTS THE UNDERLYING TISSUES, CREATING HETEROGENEOUS DEFORMATIONS BOTH IN THE IMMEDIATELY TARGETED AND DISTANT TISSUE

Pamuk & Yucesoy, 2015

Fratocchi et al, 2012

This study investigated the effect Kinesiology Taping has when applied over the biceps brachii on maximal isokinetic elbow torque. It found that Kinesiology Tape increases concentric elbow peak torque in a population of healthy participants if compared to Placebo Taping.

Moore, 2012

A literature review on Kinesiology taping studies at the present time. Although far from conclusive, the results of each of the studies shows some positive effects of Kinesiology tape on soft tissue flexibility, fascia thickness, pain and/or disability. In particular KT appears to offer similar results to traditional treatments such as soft tissue massage, ultrasounds, TENS or home exercise.

Fratocchi et al, 2012

This study investigated the effect Kinesiology Taping has when applied over the biceps brachii on maximal isokinetic elbow torque. It found that Kinesiology Tape increases concentric elbow peak torque in a population of healthy participants if compared to Placebo Taping.

Moore, 2012

A literature review on Kinesiology taping studies at the present time. Although far from conclusive, the results of each of the studies shows some positive effects of Kinesiology tape on soft tissue flexibility, fascia thickness, pain and/or disability. In particular KT appears to offer similar results to traditional treatments such as soft tissue massage, ultrasounds, TENS or home exercise.

KINESIOLOGY TAPING MAY BE AN ALTERNATIVE TREATMENT OPTION IN THE TREATMENT OF SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT SYNDROME WHEN IMMEDIATE EFFECT IS NEEDED

Kaya et al, 2010

For more research and a deep-dive into the theories and practical elements of Kinesiology Taping, check out our FUNDAMENTALS OF KINESIOLOGY TAPING E-COURSE. We guarantee to make you a better taper.

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