Quantcast

By: Lisa Payne

Used primarily for recovery and sold in a rainbow of colors, kinesiology tape raises a curious eye. Athletes, runners, CrossFit crews and even the average gym-goer can be seen wearing this bright, seemingly randomly placed tape on their body. But can wearing kinesiology tape really help heal injuries and prevent others?

Invented in 1974 by Dr. Kenzo Kase, kinesiology tape has changed the way we think about recovery and injury prevention. Kinesiology, or kinesio tape, is a functional recovery aid typically used during rehabilitation to assist the body’s natural healing processes. It encourages support, strength and stability without limiting your range of motion. It can also be an option for areas of concern that might not have a compatible brace to fit that area. Kinesio tape also promotes support that allows more movement than general athletic tape making it more adaptable to each individual’s unique condition.

However, there are claims that suggest the benefits aren’t what they’re chalked up to be.

The Pros & Cons of Using Kinesiology Tape

kinesiology tape

Pros:

  • Stabilizes the area by following muscle and joint biomechanics.
  • Allows time for healing without limiting range of motion.
  • Reduces pain level.
  • Reduces swelling.
  • Helps to promote more comfortable sleep.
  • Helps to improve circulation.

Cons:

  • If it’s not applied correctly, it can exacerbate the injury or not work as efficiently.
  • Not all brands of kinesiology or athletic tape are alike.
  • Kinesiology tape is not meant to be used for all injuries or on people with certain health conditions.
  • Evidence is limited on whether or not it can speed up recovery.
  • It’s primarily only beneficial for short-term relief.
  • Adhesive can cause skin irritations.

Here are some common questions people have about kinesiology tape: 

Do the colors mean anything?

No. The colors are for fun. 

How long can I wear it?

Tape made with cotton lasts 1-3 days. Synthetic tape can last 3-7 days.

How do I properly take it off?

Rub baby oil, vegetable oil or a gentle adhesive remover over the tape and slowly peel off.

Applying kinesiology tape takes precise, educated placement and care. And for more long-term care, it’s suggested to combine physician-assisted care with physical therapy, kinesiology tape and other healing modalities. Ask your health care practitioner for more information.