Kinesio® taping is the process of applying tape to the skin to provide stability to muscles and bones during athletic activity. Kinesio tape was invented in the 1970s by a Japanese chiropractor, Kenzo Kase, who claimed the use of tape could alleviate pain, reduce swelling, and relax muscles to enhance athletic performance. Sometimes referred to as athletic taping, this process may be used to manage the symptoms of chronic injuries related to tendonitis, tendonosis and medial tibial stress syndrome, as well as to reduce the occurrence and severity of sports related injuries.
Kinesio taping is often used as part of a rehabilitation treatment program after an injury. Kinesio tape may be applied to an injured area of the body, targeting a specific bone, ligament, nerve, joint, or muscle to:
- Stabilize and support joints
- Reduce inflammation
- Allow athletic activity after minor injuries
- Prevent additional injury to an injured area
- Reduce force on a specific area
Kinesio tape may also be applied to reduce the symptoms of pain as it creates a numbing effect that occurs when the tape lifts the skin, thus decreasing pressure on pain receptors.
While it is most often used for treating injuries and as a preventative measure to decrease trauma to already injured areas, some therapists feel that Kinesio tape can help to change muscle tone, move lymphatic fluids, increase movement and flexibility, and improve posture. Some research has also indicated that Kinesio tape may improve blood flow to the soft tissue it covers.