Kinesio tapes are widely used in Japan. Although it is still not scientifically proven, this banding has many benefits.
You probably haven’t heard of Kinesio tapes before. You must have seen people with colored bands on one or more parts of their bodies on the street. So what are Kinesio tapes and what are they used for? How do they work? Can anyone use these tapes?
These adhesive and hypoallergenic cotton tapes are used to treat injuries and other physical ailments. Kinesio, invented in 1970 and widely used in countries such as Japan, is actually a banding technique. This technique is beneficial not only for professional athletes but also for everyone and is used in various treatments.
Read on to learn more about this technique, which is used in many treatments and is considered to be effective, and where you can use it. Remember, these bands are not only used by professional athletes.
What is the Kinesio technique?
Kinesio tapes are cotton, hypoallergenic and waterproof tape strips that are placed on injured and injured parts of the body. To facilitate body movements, these bands are made of a type of fiber that can stretch up to 140% of their original length.
These tapes, which are placed on the body with the help of a specialist, can stay like this for days on your skin. However, depending on the situation, it should be replaced with new tapes, usually after 3-4 days.
Kinesio tapes do not restrict your body movements or affect your flexibility. On the contrary, thanks to these tapes, the healing process gains momentum. That is why it is used as a complement to many treatment and therapy methods (eg massage ).
Basic concepts of kinesiotape
Kinesiotape is a bandage method based on applying elastic strips to the muscles or areas affected by the patient. It is applied with bandages that are stretched more than 100% of their length.
In addition, they have an adhesive that makes it easy to stick to the skin. For this reason, kinesiotape strips are applied by stretching and then gluing. In this way, the bandage exerts constant tension on the patient’s skin. This tension can be stretched depending on how long the strip is stretched before it is glued.
Colors of the bands
Kinesio tapes are used in the treatment of muscle strains. The colors of the bands vary depending on the location, the type of injury, and other factors. For example, blue and black bands are used to relax the muscles (they also have pain relief properties), while the pink and yellow bands show a stimulating and stimulating effect.
So how do these tapes work? When Kinesio tapes are placed on your body, the heat generated by the movement acts as a kind of massage that eliminates the discomfort in that area.
Benefits of Kinesio tapes
Although clinical trials have not yet fully demonstrated the effectiveness of these patches, many experts say they provide the following benefits:
- It facilitates lymphatic drainage.
- Enables roaming.
- Helps improve posture (corrects the alignment of weak muscles).
- Provides extra support to joints and muscles.
- It reduces muscle fatigue.
- It reduces inflammation and relieves pain.
- It reduces the use of anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen) that have side effects.
How do Kinesio tapes work?
A physiotherapist who is an expert in the field places Kinesio tapes in the appropriate areas.
A specialist will place these bands tightly or flexibly according to the condition of your muscles and nerves. These tapes with the ability to stretch work almost like an accordion.
Kinesio tapes support the microscopic elevation of the skin due to the flexibility of the fibers in the tapes. Thus, it reduces the pressure on the injury and prevents the stimuli that can cause pain.
What are Kinesio tapes good for?
People use these tapes in the following situations:
- Syndromes affecting muscle and nerve functions
- Back pain
- Localized bone pain
- Sports injuries
- Muscle fatigue
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Muscle cramps
- Circulation problems (cellulite, sagging, edema, etc.)
Requirements for application
- The area where the tapes will be applied should be clean, dry, and free of hair. Cream or oil should not be applied to the affected area as it may reduce the effect of the tapes. In addition, the bands must have a good grip on the affected areas.
- Once you’ve placed the tape in, gently rub it over so that it adheres well.
- You can take a shower with Kinesio tapes. However, try not to touch or wash the banded areas while showering.
- If it irritates your skin, go to a specialist immediately and ask him to remove your tapes. But one thing to keep in mind is that Kinesio patches can cause itching at times. This is caused by increased blood circulation.
The main uses of Kinesiotape
While the benefits of Kinesio tapes have not been proven in some cases, there are a few cases where it has been proven. For example, it has proven to have the ability to improve the range of motion for people with shoulder pathology.
There are also cases where Kinesiotape improves the position of the arm bone in relation to a patient with a shoulder blade pathology. This is confirmed by a case study published in the International Journal of Physical Therapy.
On the other hand, Kinesiotape is used as a sensory reminder. So if there is a problem with the leg, the presence of Kinesio tapes will cause the patient to notice when this leg is stretched. This stimulus will remind him to pay attention to this part of the body and not to overload.
On the contrary, there are several studies showing that this method is not effective when it comes to improving certain aspects of healthy patients. As an example, a study published in the Journal of Orthopedics and Sports Physical Therapy notes that when a sudden stimulus appears, it does not help accelerate the contraction of the muscle.
In fact, the first study cited shows no benefit in terms of pain beyond its benefits for mobility. Therefore, it is not effective in this area either.
FOR WHICH PROBLEMS are KINEZYOTAPING USED?
- Mechanical problems causing neck-back-waist pain
- Soft tissue trauma in the musculoskeletal system (tendinitis, bursitis, muscle strains)
- Sports injuries
- Joint instabilities (instability)
- Posture disorders
- Degenerative arthritis (joint calcification)
- Foot deformities (hallux valgus, hammer toe, heel spur ..)
- Joint sprains and strains
- Muscle weakness due to inactivity
- For protective purposes by supporting the muscle-joint surrounding tissues before physical activity and sports activities
- Muscle strength deficiencies seen in neurological diseases
- Entrapment neuropathies such as carpal tunnel syndrome
PROPERTIES OF KINESIOLOGY TAPES
- The kinesiology tape is developed to reflect the skin’s properties, and its thickness is similar to the epidermis layer of the skin, its elasticity to the elasticity of human skin.
- The bands can maintain their elastic properties for 3-7 days.
Its adhesive consists of a fingerprint-like wavy acrylic, latex-free and heat-activated.
- Thanks to the cotton fibers, it is possible to take a shower, wash the application area, and swim while glued on the skin, as body moisture evaporates and dries rapidly.
- When the tape is wet, excess water should be removed with a towel, it should not be rubbed and should be waited for drying.
- Before application, the skin should be cleaned of oil and moisture and shaved if necessary.
- It takes 20-30 minutes for the tape to adhere, and movements that cause sweating should be avoided during this time.
- Kinesiotaping can be used simultaneously with other physical therapy methods such as cold therapy and electrotherapy.
WHAT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED DURING AND AFTER THE APPLICATION?
- Before application, the skin is cleansed of oil and moisture.
- An excessive amount of hair in the area where the tape is applied may prevent adhesion, so the area may need to be shaved.
- The tape immediately adheres to the skin, but within 20-30 minutes, the degree of adhesion reaches its highest level.
- Although rubbing with gentle pressure after application makes it easier to stick, difficult movements should be avoided in order not to cause the tape to come off during this period.
- The band can stay in the area where it is applied for a few days.
- It does not come off by bathing or swimming, when wet, excess water can be removed with a towel.
- It can be easily removed when desired without causing any discomfort and leaves no sticky residue behind.
- Extra glue can be used to increase the adhesiveness of the tape in athletes or people who engage in strenuous physical activities.
- Spray-type adhesives are generally preferred, but when additional glue is used, it can be difficult to remove the tape from the skin.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE OF KINESIOLOGY TAPING?
Classic bands restrict joint mobility, limiting the movement in that area. This special banding method is; It aims to support muscle, joint, and ligament structures without restricting the range of motion, and to facilitate the natural healing process of the body by reducing edema. Since the painful and edematous muscles swell, the area in that area narrows. With kinesiology taping, the skin is lifted, thus increasing circulation and movement, as well as the skin and subcutaneous area. The increase in circulation and movement leads to a decrease in inflammation, in other words, edema, in that area. In this way, it is aimed to reduce pain, increase performance, prevent injury, accelerate circulation, and tissue healing. In addition, the musculoskeletal system, circulatory system, or nervous system structures are aimed to return to their normal functions.
SITUATIONS WHERE BANDAGING IS EFFECTIVE
- It supports the muscles.
- It increases muscle contractions in weakened muscles.
- It reduces muscle density.
- It reduces excessive contraction and tension of the muscles.
- It reduces muscle cramping and injury.
- It increases ROM and reduces pain.
- It is effective in the flow of body fluids.
- Increases blood and lymph circulation.
- It reduces chemical waste in tissues.
- It reduces inflammation.
- It activates analgesic endogens.
- It is effective in correcting joint problems.
- Kinesiology tapes are used by athletes after sports injuries or against the risk of injury. These tapes are also preferred in physical therapy and rehabilitation patients because they facilitate the natural healing process of the body. The tapes provide many benefits, from pain reduction to tissue healing.
- Since it can be used safely in the pediatric age group, it has a wide range of uses.
WHAT ARE THE SIDE EFFECTS OF KINESIOLOGY TAPING?
Skin reactions can be seen in the applied area due to the use of kinesiology tape. These can be in the form of allergic reactions or local irritation. The allergic reaction often develops against the polyacrylate adhesive that provides the adhesive properties of the tape. More rarely, it can occur against the dye that gives the color of the tape. In such a situation, the tape should be removed.
Local irritations such as slight redness, superficial peeling in the applied skin area and the edges of the tape, excessive stretching of the tape or application with excessive pressure, using the wrong technique, the skin being too thin and sensitive, application in an overly mobile area, excessive exposure of the tape to water, staying on the skin for too long It may occur for such reasons. The tape can be applied again after a break from the use of the tape and the skin surface returns to normal.
WHO CAN APPLY KINEZYOTAPING?
For a successful application, it is important to evaluate the patient well, to choose the correct muscle, to determine the purpose of taping, to position the muscle to be applied correctly, and to adjust the tension of the band. These significantly affect the success of the treatment. Successful application of the technique depends on knowing the anatomy of the musculoskeletal and circulatory system and using the appropriate correct techniques.
Therefore, Kinesio tapes applications should be performed by physicians or physiotherapists who have taken courses and training programs on this subject.
- Compared to Kinesio tapes, it is a tape application used for fixing and supporting.
- The band structure has no physiological effect. It acts more mechanically.
- It is applied by making use of the kinesiology mechanisms of the musculoskeletal system.
- Due to its latex structure, the time to stay in the body is limited.
- Its application is applied by physiotherapists in accordance with the anatomical structure of the body.
- If there is a situation such as itching and burning after the application, removing the tape is the most appropriate choice.
Some advice to keep in mind
These tapes should be placed on your body by a physiotherapist after a general examination. Sticking these tapes may seem easy at first. However, we do not recommend doing it yourself at home; While you want to heal, you can hurt yourself more. you can buy these tapes through this link.
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- Ahn IK, et al. Immediate effects of kinesiology taping of quadriceps on motor performance after muscle fatigued induction. DOI:
- Chao YW, et al. (2016). Kinesio taping and manual pressure release: Short-term effects in subjects with myofasical trigger point.
- Craighead DH, et al. (2017). Kinesiology tape modestly increases skin blood flow regardless of tape application technique.
- Deniz GH, et al. (2018). THU0727-HPR Comparison of kinesio tape application and manual lymphatic drainage on lower extremity oedema and functions after total knee arthroplasty.
- Garcia-Muro F, et al. (2010). Treatment of myofascial pain in the shoulder with Kinesio Taping. A case report. DOI:
- Karwacinska J, et al. (2012). Effectiveness of Kinesio Taping on hypertrophic scars, keloids and scar contractures. DOI:
- Kavlak, et al., (2012). Investigation of the efficacy of different physiotherapy methods for neck pain. DOI:
- Lyman KJ, et al. (2017). Effects of 3 different elastic therapeutic taping methods on the subacromial joint space.