What’s the Deal With the Tape? Kinesiology Therapeutic (KT) Tape Benefits

We’ve all seen it. The guy or the girl in the gym or running outdoors with the tape running in all directions? Maybe you’ve seen them across the shoulder, around the knee cap, or on the back of calves and wondered what is that stuff?

It’s certainly not the ACE wrap we grew up with when I was injured. Does placing a piece of tape on you actually provide performance benefits? Well, turns out Kinesiology Therapeutic (KT) tape has numerous benefits. Education is power.

Let’s take a closer look at what Kinesiology Therapeutic (KT) can do for you.

Benefits of kinesiology tape

KT tape is a specialized elastic sport and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament, and tendon pain relief and support. The breathable cotton fabric features an acrylic adhesive that allows the tape to stretch up to 180%, providing stability without limiting motion.

It is applied to areas of the body that are causing discomfort or require extra support; it supports muscles during activity while helping reduce swelling. KT tape has been used in professional sports since 2016 and can be seen on athletes across various sports such as football, basketball, and track & field. Since its inception, it has become increasingly popular with amateur athletes as well.

It can be used to prevent or treat common muscle and joint-related injuries including sprains, muscle strains, subluxations, and tendonitis. KT tape provides support and pain relief before, during, and/or after an activity.

Its wide variety of uses includes:

  • joint support of the knee, shoulder, ankle and wrist;
  • relief from plantar fasciitis (heel pain);
  • decreased swelling resulting from soft tissue damage;
  • improved circulation for increased healing;
  • reduced pressure on sensitive areas caused by neuropathy or poor posture;
  • improved range of motion for injuries such as tennis elbow;
  • lumbar stabilization for lower back pain;
  • rotator cuff support for shoulder injuries;
  • improved posture through spinal column reinforcement;
  • even improved circulation from poor circulation due to diabetes or MS.

KT tape can be worn almost anywhere on the body-underneath clothing if desired-while still providing targeted relief where it’s needed most.

The range of motion is not limited. KT tape-with the body’s ability to heal itself can provide therapeutic relief to a variety of populations and diagnoses.

How Does It Work?

Benefits of kinesiology tape

During injury blood and other fluids build up causing inflammation and swelling. If there’s too much inflammation, excess is unable to be removed by the lymphatic system. In short, the lymphatic vessels become compressed which prevents oxygen and nutrients from being delivered to healing tissues.

When KT tape is properly applied, the elasticity in the KT tape gently lifts the skin from the tissues below. This gentle lifting of the skin creates a space to improve blood and lymphatic flow which ultimately helps to alleviate pressure and reduce swelling.

Once blood flow is restored, oxygen and nutrients are better able to reach damaged tissues to help enhance healing.

As a result, there are other benefits to KT taping besides pain relief and reduction of inflammation. KT tape is also used to support injured muscles or joints without restricting the full range of motion in individuals with neurological disorders.

It helps to aid in faster muscle recovery, prevents cramps or spasms, prevents over-stretching or over-contraction of muscles, and also enhances muscle tone and strength.

KT tape comes in a variety of colors. Pick a color that matches your shoes or shirt! Just don’t go overboard and makeup injuries to have every single color on you.

If you’re a runner who needs knee support or someone who just wants to walk without pain, ask your PT, PTA, or ATC if KT tape is right for you.


Benefits of kinesiology tape

When applied correctly in strips along the surface of an injury site and stretched out beyond its resting length during the application process, KT tape helps to relax overworked muscles and reduce inflammation from an injury.

Benefits of KT tape:

– Reduces muscle pain and inflammation
– Improves circulation in targeted areas
– Relieves pressure on nerves/joints caused by repetitive motions
– Stabilizes weak or injured muscles
– Enhances proprioception (the understanding of where one’s body is in space)
– Prevents muscle strain and overuse injuries
– Supports lymphatic drainage (the natural process the body uses to remove waste products from cells)

If you have major problems with nerve pain, you should consider dry needling piriformis therapy for relieving yourself from chronic pain.

How to Apply KT tape

Benefits of kinesiology tape

Kinesiology tape provides extra support so you can stay in motion and focus on the activities you love.

The key to successful taping is proper application. To effectively use it, it’s important to pay attention to the taping technique, start with a clean area, and ensure that you adjust the tension appropriately for your body and activity level.

Below are some general instructions for applying KT tape:

1) Clean the application area with soap and water before applying the tape.

2) Cut 1-2 inch (2.5 – 5 cm) pieces of tape based on the size of the area being treated (smaller areas typically require smaller pieces).

3) Align one side of the tape lightly onto the skin without stretching it. This forms an anchor point for other strips of the same piece or different strips applied consecutively.

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4) Peel away roughly half of the paper while keeping your other hand extended forward over where that piece will be placed.

5) Apply with hands firmly on the person’s skin in direction of adhesive flow as indicated by arrows printed directly on the back paper side in center strip patterning then, insert middle fingers behind the stretch tension panel below the adhesive backing while simultaneously engaging the anchor points onto skin surface.

6) Gently press down ends at each end ensuring secure placement onto skin tissue avoiding twisting or bending forces from occurring during the application process eventually moving into rubbing along each flap; For best results, this should be performed using a thumb pushing up against the perimeter edges for quick even coverage throughout desired area targeting various muscle groups such as legs, arms, neck & back etc.

7) Ensure completion by peeling away the remaining back plastic side to the uninvolved person’s hand allowing middle finger removal applied directly next following patterns already depicted earlier.


Benefits of kinesiology tape

Who should use KT tape?

Anyone suffering from sore muscles or joint pain due to minor sprains/strains or chronic inflammatory conditions like osteoporosis can benefit from using KT tape.

However; it’s best if those people see a medical professional before using this sort of treatment as well as get educated on proper application techniques for different types of issues for best results in treating their specific condition/injury properly.

Can you wear kinesiology tape to bed?

Wearing kinesiology tape to bed may provide short-term relief from pain and may help you get a good night’s sleep. However, it is important to note that wearing kinesiology tape to bed should only be used as an occasional treatment option and should not be relied on as a sole source of relief.

What are the side effects of KT tape?

KT tape has been shown to have a number of side effects, including:

1. Pain and swelling
2. Feeling pressure or tightness on the skin
3. It can be difficult to remove KT tape from the skin

Is KT tape anti-inflammatory?

KT tape has been shown to be effective in reducing inflammation, which is thought to be due to the tape’s ability to restrict blood flow.


The use of kinesiology therapeutic tape is becoming increasingly popular for treating and preventing injuries and providing relief from muscle pain. It can be used without medication or surgery to help improve range of motion, posture, joint alignment and reduce swelling. KT tape is an easy-to-use sports recovery tool that has a variety of potential benefits for athletes and active individuals.

In conclusion, for more information on therapy support check out fischerinstitute.com.

— Update: 03-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Kinesiology Tape 101: What Is K-Tape? from the website share.upmc.com for the keyword benefits of kinesiology tape.

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At sporting events, road races, or the grocery store, you may see brightly colored cotton stripes wrapped around a person’s legs, knees, shoulders, or back.

It isn’t a fashion statement. It’s actually kinesiology tape, one of the most beneficial ways to apply continual therapeutic effects to injured or sore muscles.

People of all ages find relief with kinesiology tape, or k-tape, and use it for a variety of reasons. Learn more about kinesiology tape and its benefits.

What Is Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiology tape is a thin, water-resistant, flexible cotton strip with acrylic adhesive on one side. The tape:

  • Is latex-free.
  • Can be worn for multiple days.
  • Is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity.
  • Provides support to joints and muscles to promote the body’s natural healing process.

To schedule an appointment with one of our UPMC Sports Medicine experts, call 1-855-937-7678.

Who Should Use K-Tape?

Many people use kinesiology tape because it’s versatile and easy to apply. People who may find k-tape useful include:

  • Young athletes.
  • Professional athletes.
  • Runners.
  • Individuals with muscle or joint injuries.
  • Pregnant women.

Therapists and athletic trainers may place kinesiology tape on a patient to wear between therapy sessions to maximize the effects of the therapy. Athletes apply K-tape before a competition to provide additional support to muscles.

Doctors may recommend the use of k-tape for chronic conditions or injuries because one application lasts multiple days, and it doesn’t interfere with everyday life.

RELATED: 5 Ways to Prevent Basketball Injuries

How to Use K-Tape

K-tape can be applied virtually anywhere there’s soft tissue or muscle pain. Some of the most common injuries that may benefit from kinesiology tape include:

  • Acute soft tissue issues (muscle sprains, ligament strains, and hematomas).
  • Joint swelling.
  • Low muscle tone or muscle weakness.
  • Systemic conditions (fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus).
  • Tendinopathies.
  • Post-fracture support.
  • Growing pains in adolescents.
  • Poor posture.

K-tape can be self-applied, or a certified therapist or doctor can apply it for you. If you’re new to kinesiology tape, have a medical professional demonstrate the proper way to apply it before doing it on your own.

Benefits of Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape has many benefits, including:

  • Providing support to sore muscles.
  • Stabilizing injuries as they heal.
  • Prolonging the effects of physical therapy.
  • Providing relief for swelling.

K-tape also can be used on a more frequent basis to help with lactic acid buildup and bruising in muscles.

What’s Different About It?

Kinesiology tape differs from traditional strapping tape in a few ways.

Typically, conventional strapping tape restricts movement and keeps the injured area tight and immobile. K-tape allows the injured area to bend and move as it heals, providing support rather than limiting range of motion.

In addition, strapping tape can only be worn for short periods of time and must be removed to restore circulation, while k-tape can be worn for four to five days without risking loss of circulation.

While k-tape is a great addition to physical therapy and can help aid the healing process, it should not be used to disguise injuries or in place of traditional therapy methods.

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UPMC Sports Medicine works with athletes and active people at all levels to develop individualized treatment plans designed to help them safely and fully recover from injuries.

To schedule an appointment with one of our UPMC Sports Medicine experts, call 1-855-937-7678.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on , and was last reviewed on .

— Update: 08-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article How the Benefits of Kinesio Taping Apply to More Than Just Athletes from the website blog.nuhs.edu for the keyword benefits of kinesiology tape.

During the 2008 Olympics, beach volleyball players drew attention with colored stripes of Kinesio Tape. Over the years, this effective technique has become increasingly popular among athletes. As a chiropractic physician with the 2016 Olympic Village Polyclinic staff, I used the technique to help athletes gain an extra advantage that could make the difference in winning a race.

Prior to the Olympics, I taught Kinesio Taping at National University of Health Sciences since 2012. The university has a long history with this therapy since the inventor, Dr. Kenzo Kase, is a 1974 DC alum.

Kinesio Taping involves taping over and around muscles in order to send neuromuscular signals that enhance performance and help heal injuries. While Kinesio Taping is best known for its effectiveness on athletic injuries, it can also be effective for non-athletic ailments. That’s why Kinesio Taping is a versatile therapy that offers a number of benefits for everyone.

Kinesio Taping relieves pain.

You don’t need to be an athlete to experience the tension and soreness often caused by strained or overused muscles. Today, millions of Americans suffer from neck and low back pain due to poor posture or sitting at a desk all day. When applied, Kinesio Taping can effectively reduce pain by relieving pressure on the strained or injured site.

According to a 2017 study published in the , stroke patients with hemiplegic shoulder pain experienced greater reductions in shoulder pain after three weeks of Kinesio Taping intervention compared with sham Kinesio Taping. A 2016 study published in thefound similar results for pain reductions for patients with lateral epicondylitis or tennis elbow. No matter which muscle is bothering you, Kinesio Taping can improve your pain symptoms while the muscle continues to heal.

Kinesio methods reduce inflammation.

In addition to reducing pressure on certain muscles, the Kinesio method of taping can reduce pressure on the lymphatic system, which removes fluid from our tissues. This reduced pressure helps the body drain fluids like lactic acid that often build up in an injured area.

This benefit gives Kinesio Taping many uses beyond just healing injuries. It can help reduce inflammation and swelling experienced post-surgery and with inflammatory ailments such as lymphedema. Kinesio Taping may even be beneficial for those who suffer from chronic inflammatory conditions.

Taping can expedite the recovery of overused muscles.

Combined with enhanced draining of built-up fluids, Kinesio Taping improves blood flow and the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the site, allowing overused muscles to heal much more rapidly.

This added benefit is one of the reasons Kinesio Taping is commonly used in everyday practice to treat injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff impingement, bursitis, and many other conditions.

Kinesio helps improve overall function.

Multiple studies show that Kinesio Taping can help improve function, which is often a key factor in the healing process. A 2016 study published in the found that 30 elderly patients with degenerative knee arthritis who used Kinseo Tape for four weeks not only experienced reduced pain and stiffness, but improved knee joint function and increased range of motion. The 2017 study and 2016 study mentioned previously also found similar results in function with improved muscle flexion and range of motion among participants.

Since Kinesio Taping is most commonly used on the knees, shoulders, back, ankles and feet, improved function is an important benefit. By applying Kinesio, you are able to get back to normal function in your everyday life at a much faster pace.

Kinesio Taping provides minimal side effects.

One of the most important benefits of Kinesio Taping is that it comes without the side effects common with prescription medication. Kinesio provides support without restricting the muscle’s range of motion, so while your injuries heal, you can continue to be active without worrying about overstretching the injured muscles. You can also wear the tape and receive its therapeutic benefits on a 24-hour-per-day basis for several days per application.

Since the introduction of Kinesio Taping into the United States, the method is currently used by thousands of physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractic physicians, medical doctors, certified athletic trainers, and massage therapists, who have all recognized and embraced this effective, safe, and easy-to-use modality.

Learn about other non-invasive treatments and integrative health care trends by subscribing to our blog —

Benefits of kinesiology tape

— Update: 10-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article The benefits and uses of Kinesio tape in rehabilitation and athletic settings from the website www.scienceforsport.com for the keyword benefits of kinesiology tape.

Various uses of Kinesio tape

The ‘stretch and lift’

Kinesio tape can stretch to anywhere between 100-180% of its original length. That is what really sets it apart when it comes to other tapes in sports and rehabilitation. The stretch not only allows it to contour to different body parts, but it creates a recoil of the skin. This recoil acts to pull the skin closer from the tape’s origin site to where it ends.

With this, a small lift or decompression of the skin is created which relieves pressure on the area where the tape is applied. This proposed lift may allow the associated muscles, joints and tendons to have more room for smoother contraction and stretch.

Decompression and pain

The proposed decompression of the skin can lead to a number of positive influences on it. Relief from pressure is first and foremost. Within our skin and underlying tissues, we have a multitude of receptors including those responsible for pain. By relieving the pressure in between the skin layers, we change or dampen the pain signal that goes from our skin to our brain.

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Along with this, the decompression allows fluids underneath the skin like blood and lymphatic fluids (vital in the recovery process) to circulate more freely without as much interruption. 

Sensory input and performance

The lift of the skin can change what information gets to the brain, including pain input as stated previously. This change can potentially help in decreasing the feelings of tightness in muscles or pain from associated trigger points in muscles. Along with these, some athletes believe having the tape on their skin acts as protection – knowing the tape is present on an injured area may allow some athletes to feel more confident in their abilities to overcome the injury.

Among some practitioners and rehabilitation professionals, there is a belief that Kinesio tape can also provide an actual improvement in performance. This may occur from the Kinesio tape providing support along with slight pressure to unstable joints or painful muscles. This feeling of pressure can help to facilitate muscle contraction as well and make the athlete feel stronger.

Although this may be felt from a subjective perspective, there is a lack of evidence based research on Kinesio tape’s positive effect on performance.


The same can also be said for supporting weaker areas of the body. The tape provides extra support with a joint’s normal movement – this may help to support fatigued areas and protect them from further injury or compensatory patterns. 

It can also provide support for tendons, which take on the load from our bodies and forces from the ground. The patellar tendon is a common source of pain for athletes who run and jump, along with individuals who sit for prolonged periods of time.

Tape can be applied to lift and support the patella, and acts similar to a patellar strap or brace.

Benefits of kinesiology tape

Another common area for support taping is on the foot. 

With flat feet or lower arches, the navicular bone, which is located on the inside of the foot, sits lower than it should secondary to the height of the arch. A sling can be used to ‘lift’ the navicular and subsequently lift the arch. This adds support and protection to the foot.

Body awareness

Kinesio tape is applied to provide feedback for where our body and posture is situated in space. This is through proprioceptive input, which helps our bodies understand where they are positioned. Rehabilitation professionals will use the tape to cue a patient or client 

Benefits of kinesiology tape

to keep them in a corrective position or posture. An example of this is on the upper back and posterior shoulders – Kinesio tape is placed in an X fashion from the top of the shoulder toward the spine in a downward direction and crossed.

This will allow the tape to pull and create a feeling of stretch when the patient rolls into a forward head/rounded shoulders position. This acts to pull the patient back to a scapular retracted and upright posture. 

Another example is with lower back pain. Kinesio tape is placed on the muscles of the lumbar spine while the spine is flexed in order to provide feedback for people who may slump over in their chair or while standing.

Again, the Kinesio tape is acting as a reminder to stay more upright and out of positions that can cause pain with the stretch of the tape.


Kinesio tape can be cut and manipulated in order to promote a reduction in swelling in various areas of the body. The target for the tape is an injured area that is swollen and may be discoloured. The tape is cut in a crossover pattern with strips that mimic lymphatic channels.

The idea here is the tape provides the lift of the skin which creates space in between the layers of skin. This changes the pressure gradient in those layers of skin which enhances the flow within the lymphatic system. These channels run through our connective tissue and allow our body to deal with excess fluid.

This can be beneficial with acute and chronic injury as well as recovering from strenuous exercise and training. 

Scar management

Kinesio tape can be placed on and around closed scars for a multitude of reasons such as improving aesthetics, decreasing pain and improving pliability of the scar. Scars that are present after an injury or surgical procedure become an interruption in the skin’s layers which affect how the soft tissue in and around it contracts and stretches. This can affect your range of motion of the associated area, which can also have an effect on your strength.

Taping over and/or around a closed scar introduces a shearing or massage effect to all the layers of the scar. With this, we can also affect the surrounding tissue and have an effect on the overall movement of the associated extremity or region. The goal here is to encourage proper alignment of the tissues affected in and around the scar. It is important to know you should not place tape over open wounds or immature scars that are less than six weeks post-injury. 

Nerve entrapment

Our nervous system has a unique relationship to our muscular system. For a number of reasons, a nerve can become irritated and/or compressed and impact the muscles it supplies sensory and motor function to. This can cause pain, weakness and numbness, or tingling into the leg or arm depending on the nerve affected. The tape can be applied along the length of the nerve, from its most proximal to distal point in a stretched position. Through this, the skin is lifted, allowing the nerve to glide and slide smoother in its track that it runs through.

In essence, this helps to decrease the irritation allowing for improved function. It may be difficult to perform this technique without the help of a rehabilitation professional.


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