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 powerful, stretchy adhesive tape utilized in sports activities drugs and bodily remedy.

It’s often latex-free, waterproof, and produced from cotton and nylon. In contrast to conventional athletic tapes that are usually thick and restrictive, KT tape is versatile, permitting taped limbs or joints to maneuver by way of 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 idea is that while 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 idea say this provides three advantages:

  1. It creates area in joints: Making use of tape to joints could enhance the area within the joint, stopping bones, muscle tendons, and different tender tissues from rubbing collectively and inflicting ache. 
  2. It will increase circulation and lymphatic drainage: Making use of kinesiology tape could scale back swelling and fluid buildup within the taped space by enhancing blood movement and permitting lymph (a clear-to-white fluid that performs a job in immune perform) to maneuver extra freely.
  3. It alters ache alerts: Swelling compresses receptors in your pores and skin, sending alerts 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 response to its producers and a few bodily therapists, KT tape helps muscle tissue and joints, enhances proprioception, relieves ache, reduces swelling, will increase power and suppleness, 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 tissue and unstable joints.

As an example, in a single examine, 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.

Different research present that kinesio tape may also help help injured joints, permitting customers to maneuver extra freely and recuperate sooner.

Nonetheless, since not all proof 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 tissue and joints.


Proprioception is the physique’s capacity 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 aid you keep away from accidents.

Some scientists consider the stress and stretching impact of kinesiology tape prompts receptors in your pores and skin. These receptors then relay motion and place information to the mind, doubtlessly heightening proprioception and lowering damage threat.

Analysis investigating kinesiology tape’s impact on proprioception yields combined outcomes—some proof suggests it improves proprioception, whereas different analysis reveals it provides no profit. 

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

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

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

For instance, analysis reveals it might probably assist alleviate ache brought on by neck, entice, and knee accidents or delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). But, its effectiveness is much less constant for lower-back issues.

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


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

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


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

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

Some research present kinesio tape will increase power in folks with muscle fatigue and persistent musculoskeletal illnesses; others present it’s ineffective.

Importantly, analysis reveals that kinesio tape doesn’t increase power in wholesome folks. That’s, making use of it to your muscle tissue and joints gained’t aid you squat, deadlift, or bench press extra weight.

(For that, you want a well-designed power coaching program, similar to Greater Leaner Stronger or Thinner Leaner Stronger.)


Research on folks with sports activities accidents or situations similar to osteoarthritis, cerebral palsy, whiplash, or shoulder ache sometimes present that taping promotes flexibility, permitting you to maneuver the affected joints and muscle tissue by way of longer ranges of movement.

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

  1. It improves blood movement to muscle tissue.
  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 displaying advantages has been in folks 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 further help for his or her joints and muscle tissue.

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

Harm Prevention

Some athletes consider kinesiology tape helps forestall accidents from occurring. 

Most declare the tape does this by supporting their muscle tissue, tendons, and joints. Nonetheless, a meta-analysis printed within the journal Sports activities Medication (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 tissue and joints, improve proprioception, relieve ache and swelling, increase power in folks with explicit musculoskeletal situations, and enhance flexibility. Nonetheless, the consistency of those findings varies.

Thus, for those who’re enthusiastic about 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 is perhaps value trialing, given its affordability and simple utility (you may apply kinesiology tape at dwelling, regardless of what some “consultants” say).

Nonetheless, it’s important to recollect it enhances, fairly than replaces, confirmed restoration methods, similar to ample relaxation, ample sleep, and good diet.

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 is perhaps minor variations between every, they need to present a transparent sufficient concept of the method.

When you’re prepared, observe the following tips 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 heart 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 snug, strive peeling it off within the bathe. Or, if it’s in a very furry space, apply child oil to the again of the tape earlier than eradicating it.

+ Scientific References