What is Kinesiotape?
Kinesiotape is often used in rehab settings to assist in healing and provide stability and support. Physiological effects of kinesiotape are said to aide in “circulatory and lymphatic systems, fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints.” Affecting even the integumentary system, kinesiotape “targets different receptors within the somatosensory system by microscopically lifting the skin.”
There are different techniques to promote different benefits. Kinesiotape can be used for:
- Pain Relief: Simply lifting the skin can cause distracting stimuli from acute or chronic injuries which reduces pain.
- Swelling Reduction: By targeting lymphatic drainage, kinesiotape can decrease fluid retention and build up and even help with diminishing bruising.
- Muscle Facilitation: Whether it is muscle fatigue, cramping, or injury, different taping techniques can assist with enhancing blood flow to improve oxygen delivery or prevent over-stretching/over-contraction of particular muscles.
- Improved Stability: Since kinesiotape is more elastic than other athletic tapes, it is very helpful for providing joint stability without limiting range of motion.
But does it work? Evidence for kinesiotape is often unsubstantiated and is said to have more of a placebo effect – which is why it is frequently called magic tape. Since the tape can last for a few days, is easily applied, poses no serious risks, and is inexpensive, it is often a go-to for physical therapists if deemed appropriate.
Ask your Wallace & Nilan physical therapist if kinesiotape could be helpful to your recovery!