Kinesio Taping is a rehabilitation modality that makes use of an elastic tape to address pain and stimulate draining of the lymphatic system. Invented by Dr Kenzo Kase, an American chiropractor in the 1970s, the Kinesio Taping Method is mainly utilized to manage pain, treat soft tissue injury, decrease swelling, promote healing, and stimulate circulation.


The Kinesio Tex Tape is made of 100% cotton and other elastic and stretchable materials. Latex-free and hypoallergenic, it can be applied safely even to users with sensitive skin. The tape has an ability to stretch to more than double its original length. Its adhesive is heat activated, and dries out in up to 10 minutes after getting wet. The tape can be worn and lasts for several days.


The kinesio tape is used by physical therapists, athletic trainers, occupational therapists, physicians, manual therapists, chiropractors, and physiotherapists for different physical dysfunctions. This is usually seen on athletes such as those who play basketball or volleyball.


The Kinesio Taping Method is believed to relieve ailments on the different body systems, such as the circulatory, lymphatic, muscular, neural, and fascial. Therapists utilize the kinesio tape to modify muscle tone, facilitate the draining of lymphatic fluids, rework movements, and rectify posture. The kinesio tape is easy to apply and can be used for longer duration, thus it is more economical than the other methods.


In athletes, the tape is employed to constrict movement of the muscles and limit motion range. By doing this, the tape bridges the injured areas with those that aren’t, thus providing prophylactic support and still carry on with the sport. After a game, the tape is usually removed.


The following are the theories on how a kinesio tape works:


  • When the kinesio tape is put over the skin, it pulls the upper skin layers, which creates space between the muscle and the skin.

  • This space then enables the relieving of the pressure on the lymph channels, which allows the flowing of the lymphatic fluids and facilitates better drainage.

  • The same space between the dermis and the muscles contain nerve receptors. In an injury, these nerve receptors get compressed and pass on information to the brain with regards to sensation and pain. The brain then sends signals to the body on what would be the reaction to stimuli.

  • The kinesio tape then modifies the information sent to the brain, thus enabling less reactions, reducing the sensation of pain, and enabling faster healing.

  • The deep tissues in the body also benefit from the kinesio tape’s increase in space. When there is more space, the muscles are able to contract more, which then allows more fluid to the muscles enabling better performance.

  • This process then decreases muscle fatigue, and the joints have more range of motion. 

  • The kinesio tape is also used to improve the alignments and mobility of the joints.

  • The fascia is the material that serves as the separation of the muscles and organs, while the lymph facilitates the removal or draining of the fluids in the muscles. 

  • The lymph has channels where the fluids pass through. It goes through the fascia, bone, muscle, and skin. The lymph has ducts called lymph nodes and are found throughout the body, such as in the neck, armpits, and groin.

  • When the lymph flow becomes limited or increased, there will be fluid accumulation, which then results in inflammation or swelling, and the space gets decreased between the dermis and the muscle. The body then experiences pain.


The Kinesio Taping Method works on six concepts that aim to make corrections on dysfunctions:


  • Mechanical corrections that address dysfunctions in the mechanical aspects of the body, thus improving stability and functionality.

  • Circulatory or lymphatic corrections facilitate the movement of lymphatic fluid from the areas of accumulation.

  • Functional corrections stimulate the sensory system that enables motion.

  • Ligament or tendon corrections facilitate reduction of stress experienced on a tendon or ligament.

  • Space corrections help to decrease pressure in a tissue.

  • Fascial corrections that direct fascia movement and function.


Therapists make assessments whether they employ kinesio tape method on their patients. A therapist intending to use kinesio tape will have to be properly certified, and combine it with their clinical experience. 


There are general contraindications on using kinesio tape, such as when there is infection on the skin, an open wound, skin cancer, or a previous allergic reaction to the kinesio tape. Precautions are also applied to patients with diabetes, has congestive heart failure, is receiving dialysis or has kidney disease, received organ transplant, or is pregnant.


There are different tape application methods, tape types, cuts, dimensions, techniques, tension, and direction, depending on a therapist’s evaluation. The tape stretch to be used will depend on the target tissue. The direction and technique will be determined according to the evaluation of the tissue and muscles, such as on the decompression, compression and glide.


Based on feedback on the effectiveness of this method, the kinesio tape modality increases range of motion, reduces swelling and inflammation, reduces pain, improves body function, and thus improves the quality of life of the patient.


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