Kinesiology tape (a.ok.a. KT tape) has quickly gained traction in sports activities drugs and bodily remedy.

Regardless of its reputation, many stay doubtful about its advantages.

What’s kinesiology tape?

How does kinesiology tape work?

And is “kinesio tape” well worth the hype?

Get evidence-based solutions to those questions and extra on this article. 

What Is Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiology tape, usually referred to as “kinesio tape” or “KT tape.” is a robust, stretchy adhesive tape utilized in sports activities drugs and bodily remedy.

It’s normally latex-free, waterproof, and constructed from cotton and nylon. Not like conventional athletic tapes that are usually thick and restrictive, KT tape is versatile, permitting taped limbs or joints to maneuver via a full vary of movement

How Does Kinesiology Tape Work?

We nonetheless don’t know the way (or if) kinesiology tape works as promised, although the commonest principle is that once you stretch the tape and apply it to your physique, it exerts a suction-like pressure that lifts the pores and skin and creates area between your pores and skin and the tissues beneath.

Proponents of this principle say this provides three advantages:

  1. It creates area in joints: Making use of tape to joints could increase the area within the joint, stopping bones, muscle tendons, and different soft tissues from rubbing collectively and inflicting ache. 
  2. It will increase circulation and lymphatic drainage: Making use of kinesiology tape could reduce swelling and fluid buildup within the taped space by enhancing blood move and permitting lymph (a clear-to-white fluid that performs a job in immune perform) to maneuver extra freely.
  3. It alters ache indicators: Swelling compresses receptors in your pores and skin, sending indicators to your mind which you interpret as ache. Kinesiology tape lifts the pores and skin away from the tissues beneath, which can relieve compression and ache.

That’s the way it’s supposed to work, anyway, however does the analysis help this?

What Does Kinesiology Tape Do?

In line with its producers and a few bodily therapists, KT tape helps muscle groups and joints, enhances proprioception, relieves ache, reduces swelling, will increase power and adaptability, and boosts athletic efficiency.

Right here’s what analysis says about these claims.

Muscle and Joint Stability

Given its sturdy and stretchy nature, KT tape could assist help fatigued muscle groups and unstable joints.

As an example, in a single study, researchers discovered that the elasticity of kinesiology tape acted like a rubber band when utilized to runners’ thighs, serving to them keep their stride size when fatigued.

Other studies show that kinesio tape might help help injured joints, permitting customers to maneuver extra freely and get better sooner.

Nonetheless, since not all evidence agrees, it’s nonetheless untimely to attract definitive conclusions about kinesio tape’s effectiveness in aiding muscle and joint help.

It’s additionally unclear if kinesio tape provides any profit over common athletic tape for supporting muscle groups and joints.


Proprioception is the physique’s capability to sense its place and actions with out counting on sight.

Athletes worth this consciousness as a result of understanding the place your physique is in area could enable you keep away from accidents.

Some scientists imagine the strain and stretching impact of kinesiology tape prompts receptors in your pores and skin. These receptors then relay motion and place knowledge to the mind, probably heightening proprioception and decreasing harm danger.

Analysis investigating kinesiology tape’s impact on proprioception yields combined outcomes—some evidence suggests it improves proprioception, whereas other research shows it offers no profit. 

Given these conflicting findings, it’s wise to attend for extra high-quality analysis earlier than making definitive claims about kinesio tape’s position in enhancing proprioceptive consciousness.

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Analysis inspecting whether or not kinesio tape might help alleviate ache is conflicting. Some research present it has a constructive impact, whereas others present it provides no benefits.

A potential clarification is that kinesio tape can relieve ache in some muscle groups or joints however not others.

For instance, analysis exhibits it will possibly assist alleviate ache attributable to neck, trap, and knee accidents or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). But, its effectiveness is less constant for lower-back issues.

Thus, kinesiology tape could relieve ache in sure muscle teams or joints for some individuals, but it surely’s not at all times clear how a lot of this is because of real physiological modifications or the placebo effect.


Though some studies point out that kinesiology tape doesn’t considerably scale back swelling, the majority of research shows it’s useful on this regard.

Nonetheless, given the restricted proof out there, it’s prudent to attend for additional complete research earlier than making definitive claims in regards to the tape’s efficacy in treating swelling.


Some scientists believe KT tape will increase power by pulling on fascia (the skinny casing of connective tissue surrounding a muscle), rising your physique’s capability to contract the muscle beneath and boosting muscle exercise.

Sadly, there’s no clear proof that is the case.

Some studies present kinesio tape will increase power in individuals with muscle fatigue and power musculoskeletal ailments; others show it’s ineffective.

Importantly, research exhibits that kinesio tape doesn’t enhance power in wholesome individuals. That’s, making use of it to your muscle groups and joints received’t enable you squat, deadlift, or bench press extra weight.

(For that, you want a well-designed power coaching program, reminiscent of Bigger Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger.)


Research on individuals with sports injuries or situations reminiscent of osteoarthritis, cerebral palsy, whiplash, or shoulder pain sometimes present that taping promotes flexibility, permitting you to maneuver the affected joints and muscle groups via longer ranges of movement.

How KT tape achieves that is unclear, although some consultants have proposed two theories:

  1. It improves blood move to muscle groups.
  2. It will increase proprioception, which reduces the concern of shifting an injured joint or muscle. 

Whereas these hypotheses are believable, researchers are but to validate both, and nearly all the analysis exhibiting advantages has been in individuals with extreme well being points (not wholesome athletes with minor aches and pains).

Athletic Efficiency

Some athletes use kinesio tape whereas competing, believing it improves physique consciousness and provides extra help for his or her joints and muscle groups.

Whereas loads of anecdotal proof helps these claims, a review by scientists on the College of Mississippi Medical Heart discovered no compelling proof that kinesiology tape enhances sports activities efficiency.

Harm Prevention

Some athletes imagine kinesiology tape helps stop accidents from occurring. 

Most declare the tape does this by supporting their muscle groups, tendons, and joints. Nonetheless, a meta-analysis revealed within the journal Sports activities Drugs (Auckland, N.Z.) discovered kinesiology tape is ineffective at stopping accidents. 

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Many bodily therapists and kinesio tape producers laud kinesiology tape for its alleged restoration advantages.

Nonetheless, present analysis paints a combined image. 

Some analysis helps the concept that kinesio tape can stabilize muscle groups and joints, improve proprioception, relieve ache and swelling, enhance power in individuals with specific musculoskeletal situations, and enhance flexibility. Nonetheless, the consistency of those findings varies.

Thus, in case you’re involved in utilizing KT tape to speed up your restoration, tempering your expectations is wise—its effectiveness varies, and to what diploma it helps is unclear.

It could be value trialing, given its affordability and straightforward utility (you possibly can apply kinesiology tape at dwelling, regardless of what some “consultants” say).

Nonetheless, it’s important to recollect it enhances, relatively than replaces, confirmed restoration methods, reminiscent of sufficient relaxation, ample sleep, and good nutrition.

The right way to Use Kinesiology Tape

Quite a few on-line tutorials can information you on making use of kinesiology tape, with KT Tape’s YouTube channel being a notable instance.

Earlier than you begin, it’s smart to look at or learn a number of tutorials. Whereas there could be minor variations between every, they need to present a transparent sufficient concept of the method.

When you’re prepared, observe the following pointers for efficient utility and elimination:

  1. Make sure the goal space is clear, dry, and free from lotions or oils.
  2. Trim dense hair for optimum tape adhesion.
  3. Tear the tape’s backing paper within the middle of the strip.
  4. Around the ends to stop snagging on garments.
  5. To “anchor” the tape, stick the primary and final 1-to-2 inches of tape to your pores and skin with out making use of any stretch.
  6. At all times maintain the tape utilizing the backing paper.
  7. As soon as utilized, firmly rub the tape to activate the adhesive.
  8. To make elimination extra comfy, attempt peeling it off within the bathe. Or, if it’s in a very bushy space, apply child oil to the again of the tape earlier than eradicating it.

+ Scientific References