How Does Kinesiology Tape Work?

 •  March 27, 2020

Posted In: 

It’s likely you’ve seen kinesiology tape decorating limbs of the people around you on trips to the gym or just out and about. The often neon colored tape that can be stuck to almost any body part tends to stand out. You may have even considered using it before to recover from an injury. But what is it for and how does it work?

Barbers Standing
What is kinesiology tape for?

Kinesiology tape is different from athletic tape. While athletic tape is used to support or restrict motion, kinesiology tape is more flexible and is used to aid motion as well as stop muscle spasms and increase circulation. In order to accomplish those tasks, the tape needs to be applied correctly. If you’re not sure how to apply the tape, it's a good idea to have a physical therapist do it for you. They are trained to apply it the right way and will understand if it's the best choice for you. It is typically applied to support joints, manage muscle pain, decrease swelling, or limit the difficulties that arise with the formation of scar tissue.

How does kinesiology tape work?

There are a few different schools of thought on how kinesiology tape works. While some believe that the tape lifts the skin gently away from the muscle just a bit to improve circulation, others believe that the real benefit comes from the way the tape affects the nervous system in that area. It’s possible that the tape changes the way that the muscles, skin, and nervous system interact in order to create a better environment for healing and inhibit pain. Still others believe it changes the structure of the collagen in that area and can even help in the management of scar tissue.

Barbers Standing
Does it really make a difference?

It seems that with many health recommendations these days there is no straight answer. The same could be said for kinesiology tape. There are studies that conclude that kinesiology tape improves range of motion, muscle contractions around the kneecap, and can help with pain. But in the end, these studies alone just aren’t enough to draw firm conclusions. As a treatment, kinesiology tape seems to have a low level of risk for complications and is inexpensive. So, on the upside, you can give it a try and determine for yourself if this is a tool you’d like to add to your health and wellness toolkit.

Sources: Sears, Brett. “How Kinesiology Tape Is Used in Physical Therapy.” Verywell Health, Verywell Health, 6 Dec. 2019, www.verywellhealth.com/kinesiology-tape-in-physical-therapy-2696435.
Lee JH. The short-term effectiveness of balance taping on acute nonspecific low-back pain: A case report. Medicine (Baltimore). 2017;96(51):e9304. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000009304
Choi IR, Lee JH. Effect of kinesiology tape application direction on quadriceps strength. Medicine (Baltimore). 2018;97(24):e11038. doi:10.1097/MD.0000000000011038

How To Measure Feet

How To Measure Your Feet

by Anna Heston • March 27, 2020

It might seem obvious that it is important to know your shoe size but the truth is, many people wear shoes that don’t fit well or only know their correct size for one or two brands.

Calluses On Feet

Calluses On Feet

by Anna Heston • March 27, 2020

Most of us are familiar with calluses. They can form most anywhere of the body but are often found on the bottoms of feet. They feel like thick, rough skin and, though some people don’t really mind them, others would rather they went away.

Toe box

What is a Toe Box?

by Anna Heston • March 27, 2020

The toe box of the shoe is the area of the shoe that houses your toes, or the front section of the shoe. Some shoes have a wide, squared-off toe box and others can have a narrow, pointed toe box.