Therapeutic kinesiology tape or KT tape is a widely used method of treating injuries in athletes and in individuals that work in environments that might be repetitive or physically demanding on the body. This tape has positive effects on someone’s functional performance and balance, and may provide one with the ability to recover from an injury using a non-invasive, easily manipulated treatment. The kinesio tape’s adhesion creates concentric tension on the fascia (thin sheath of tissue that surrounds a muscle) which then facilitates muscle strengthening. The tape, comfortable and still able to allow certain range of motion, can:
- provide support or inhibit movement (awesome, right?)
- decrease inflammation and pain via increased blood flow
- adjust any muscle fibers that may contribute to pain
- lower swelling
- contribute to an overall improved balance in the body
- and more.
Numerous studies investigated the properties of this tape, and vast amounts of this research shows the improvement many individuals experience when using it. This can treat injuries ranging from patellofemoral pain, shin splints, impingement syndrome, and even diaphragmatic issues from underlying disease.
In this photo, our PTA applies tape for patellofemoral pain (runner’s knee). This injury takes several names, but manifests itself as pain at the front of the knee in the patella (kneecap). Symptoms include aching pain in the joint, swelling, and irritation when walking up and down hills. The goal for the tape is to create space for the patella and decrease pain when performing repetitive tasks. The tape provides a strong, yet gentle stabilization for the patella.
The International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy contains several studies that go into detail on the effects of kinesiology tape (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4827367/), and while there may be evidence to either support or refute this treatment, it is important to stay informed and draw conclusions based on real science and ethical studies. While visiting our clinic, talk with one of our therapists about the benefits, and try the tape out, too.