Kinesio Tape – An Effective Drug Free Alternative to Healing Injury

Kinesio Tape

Kinesio Tape on Knee

      Kinesio Tape is an effective drug-free treatment for a wide variety of muscular ailments designed to reduce pain and speed healing.  Kinesio tape is a latex-free cotton fiber tape that may be stretched over an injured area.  When  musculature is damaged, the body often responds with swelling.  This swelling, while intended as a natural defense to protect an injured area also impedes certain normal bodily processes that promote healing. Kinesio tape, applied properly to an injured area,  creates a space between the skin and the muscle, effectively improving the flow of lymph fluid to speed healing.  In addition, this space improves nerve conduction in the injured area. Kinesio taping is also used to improve muscle contraction and reduce muscle fatigue in performance athletes.
      Kinesio taping has been made popular over the past several years due to its use by popular athletes such as David Beckham, Serena Williams, Lance Armstrong, olympic teams.
      The effectiveness of Kinesio tape lies in two areas:  the tape itself, different from athletic tape, lifts the skin creating space for fluid and nerve conduction between the skin and muscle; and in its application by a qualified health practitioner who understands biomechanics and kinesiology.  The tape by itself does not heal, proper application by someone trained in it use is essential.  Research on Kinesio tape is still in its early stages.  Used as a stand alone procedure, the tape does not show significant clinical results. When used as an adjunctive treatment with other rehabilitative therapies, kinesio taping is beginning to show promise in the research literature.
      My own experience as a clinician using kinesio tape on my patients (and occasionally myself) has been a very positive one.  I have used it for conditions such as tennis elbow, knee pain (pateller tendonitis), rotor cuff injuries, shin splints, back pain and foot and ankle injuries.  My experience has been about 85% of the patients report significant improvement in only 2 applications.  The tape works 24/7, you can shower with it on  and replace it every  2-4 days.  Many athletes will even compete with the tape on.


    González-Iglesias J ; Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C ; Cleland JA ; Huijbregts P ; Del Rosario Gutiérrez-Vega M (2009).  Short-term effects of cervical kinesio taping on pain and cervical range of motion in patients with acute whiplash injury: a randomized clinical trial.  The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy  39(7): 515-21.

Paoloni M ; Bernetti A ; Fratocchi G ; Mangone M ; Parrinello L ; Del Pilar Cooper M ; Sesto L ; Di Sante L ;  Santilli(2011).  Kinesio Taping applied to lumbar muscles influences clinical and electromyographic characteristics in chronic low back pain patients.European journal of physical and rehabilitation medicine 47(2): 237-44. Slupik A ; Dwornik M ; Bialoszewski D ;  Zych E (2007).   Effect of Kinesio Taping on bioelectrical activity of vastus medialis muscle. Preliminary report.  Ortopedia, traumatologia, rehabilitacja. 9(6): 644-51.

Yoshida A ; Kahanov L (2007).   The effect of kinesio taping on lower trunk range of motions.  Research in sports medicine . 15(2): 103-12.

Dr. Vijay Patel is a practicing chiropractic physician at  Advanced Physical Medicine & Therapy in Mt. Prospect.  This information is offered to educated readers on physical medicine as well as drug free, natural medical alternatives.  It is for informational purposes only and not intended to substitute for medical advice from a licensed medical professional.  Call today (847-222-9060) for an appointment.  If you live outside our treatment area, please contact the American Chiropractic Association  or your state association for a chiropractic referral.

    Permanent link to this article:


      • Melek on July 9, 2012 at 2:59 pm

      I have heard about the wonderful beinfets of Kinesio taping. Thank you for the great demonstation on how kinesio tape works. Having Plantar Fasciitis I have had some basic taping done on my feet to try and help to relieve the pain in the past. This is when I learned about Kinesio taping and the wonderful beinfets that it provides, but also that you need a professional that is trained in the technique to apply it. It is so fantastic to know that we have someone in our area that is trained and experienced in this!

    1. You may want to try a thick compression stocking for sprains due to cold.

    2. I get sprains frequently due to cold. Thinking of trying out this tape as all other treatments have been proved useless.

    Leave a Reply