Kinesiotape Explained

You have seen kinesiotape likely on professional basketball and football players. It’s usually interesting-looking black strips that crisscross the knee or shoulder joint. Kinesiotape is used to support and relieve pain in joints, muscles, and ligaments.  Kinesiotape helps to reduce swelling, improve mobility, and aids in recovery. This is kinesiotape explained.

What is it?

Kinesiotape (k-tape) is a tape with specific stretch properties that is designed to work with a muscle’s natural contractile nature. It was created by a Japanese chiropractor and was first used in the U.S. in the early 1990s at a few select universities on athletes, and has since become very widespread in the rehab world. Unlike traditional athletic taping, k-tape is not used to splint a joint or restrict movement in an area; rather it is used to enhance the existing muscle function and move with it. Thus, wearing k-tape is more comfortable and can provide some great results in both acute and chronic injuries. 

What does it do?

There are three main uses for k-tape. Each use depends upon the goal of the patient and the therapist. 

  1. Edema Control and Bruise Absorption: whether a joint has swelled from an acute or chronic injury, k-tape can help the body flush out excess fluid in and around the affected joint. Once it pulls it out of confinement, so to speak, our body’s lymphatic system can collect it and excrete it through either bowel movements or urine. In the same manner, a bruise can be more quickly flushed out, thus promoting less tissue damage from the swelling that can accompany a large, deep bruise. 
  2. Muscle Relaxation – the tape can help calm the pain and tightness of a muscle that is in acute or chronic spasm from an injury or overuse. 
  3. Muscle Facilitation: the tape can help a muscle that has been weakened from an injury work more efficiently, thus facilitating a more normal and powerful contraction. 
  4. Scar Mobilization: there is also an application of k-tape that can work to mobilize scars that have adhered to the tissue and bone below the skin. 

A secondary effect of the above applications is that it can also, and usually does, decrease pain. Not only is this a bonus, but reducing pain is a signal to your body that it is no longer “in danger” and thus allows the muscles and tissues to function and heal more efficiently. The tape can be used at any time through the healing process as indicated. 

Allow one of our trained therapists to help you get back to ENJOYING MORE FREEDOM with kinesiotape today.

Penelope works with a wide array of patient populations. Her extensive background allows her to successfully improve the quality of life for patients suffering from chronic pain conditions. She also has strong experience in neurological rehab, sports medicine, orthopedic care, and women's health.