What is Kinesiology Tape?


In this blog series, we will start to look in closer details at the types of treatment primarily used at Fitlife Sports Massage. Every few weeks, we will cover a different modality.

First up: Kinesiology Tape, or K-Tape...

Kinesiology Tape, or K-Tape, is a cotton strip with acrylic adhesive which is very similar in terms of thickness and elasticity to human skin. It’s makeup means that it doesn’t bind, constrict or restrict the wearer’s movement.

Is is primarily used to treat musculoskeletal and sports injuries, plus various physical disorders. It’s not uncommon to see athletes wearing K-Tape while they are competing.

The tape originated in Japan in the 1970s and was used primarily in that country until the 1988 Tokyo Olympics, where it gained international attention - and has been used worldwide ever since.

Most types of strapping tape are non-elastic and bound tightly around injured joints and muscles in order to restrict movement. Due to the constriction placed on the body, they can only be worn for short periods of time before being removed so movement and circulation can be restored!

Kinesiology tape works in different way: its elasticity helps protect muscles and joints while providing a safe, functional level of mobility.

It can be worn for 4-5 days and can be kept on while exercising, swimming, bathing or in the shower. It also dries quickly following contact with water.

  • For acute soft tissue injuries (e.g. muscle strains, ligament sprains or bruising)

  • For muscle facilitation (e.g. muscle weakness or low muscle tone/Hypotonia)

  • For joint proprioception retraining (e.g. joint alignment, instability/hypermobility or poor posture - in other words, mind/muscle awareness)

  • For What is kinesiology tape used for? (e.g. post-fracture support, shin splints or adolescent growing pains)

  • For tendonpathies (e.g. tendonitis or tendonosis)

  • For fasciopathies (e.g. plantar fasciitis)

  • For systemic conditions (e.g. osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, lupus or fibromyalgia)

  • For swelling and edema (e.g. lymphoedema or joint swelling)

At Fitlife Sports Massage, we most often use K-Tape for treating muscle facilitation, tendonitis and swelling. It’s also a useful tool for creating postural awareness for those who slouch! Office workers, we’re looking at you!

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