Kinesiology Taping

Kinesiology Taping


This year’s Olympic Games in Brazil has seen some top class skill, hard work paying off, some controversy and most of us have seen the French gymnasts lower leg bending as it shouldn’t after landing awkwardly.

It is a time of year where sponsors aim to promote as much as is possible their brand and where therapeutic modalities can be seen by the world. On this note, I’m sure many of you have seen the bright and colourful Kinesiology Tape (K Tape) decorate the sculpted elite athletes. Some of you may have had this offered to you by your Chartered Physiotherapist in the past to help with your treatment of a specific injury. Some of you may not have had any experience with Kinesiology Tape in the past and have wondered why the athletes are wearing multi-coloured war stripes on their bodies?! It’s ok, continue reading while I lay down some knowledge for you. Although I think some K Tape application may have more war stripes use than physiological use as seen below.

Man with kinesiology tape on face

What is Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiology Tape is one type of tape Chartered Physiotherapist’s use as an adjunct for professional athletes, athletes and patients to assist in muscle activity, muscle relaxation and lymphatic drainage to help with posture, injuries and sports.


Or as the Kinesiology Tape website describes it as:

“The Kinesio® Taping Method is based on a simple principle that the body has built-in healing mechanisms and healthcare practitioners can help to positively influence their efficiency by removing barriers that impede them. Kinesio® Tape provides extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered in the athletic training room or physical therapy clinic. The results are increased fluid flow through an injured area, better control over muscle contractions, reduced pain, and ultimately faster healing. This effect is modulated and coordinated by the nervous system by specifically stimulating the sensory motor system”



Although there is little high quality peer reviewed published evidence to support K Tape’s use in a number of different populations and conditions, it is a very new modality to arrive on the physiotherapy scene and as such has not had time to allow studies take place. It also is hard to prove apart from clinic experience, patients perceptions etc. These are mostly subjective and have a bias risk associated. Articles showing K Tape’s benefit so far are mostly aimed at subjective markers, ie; the patient’s perception. Studies have shown positive effects on pain in shoulder impingement and positive effects on pain from whiplash (1). Studies have also shown pain reduction in patella-femoral joint pain using K Tape (2).

Although there are not enough studies to unanimously agree K Tape is the holy grail of physiotherapy, there are some research proven effects of this tape in use in populations. In the Olympic Games in Brazil some of the effects may be physiological and some may well be placebo for the athlete using it or indeed intimidation for the opposition.

To conclude – you can’t wrap up a dysfunction. Seek help from your Chartered Physiotherapist regarding an injury. They may well use some K Tape to help you along the path to

recovery. K Tape on its own, won’t carry you to where you want to be.

Man deadlifting









  1. Csapo R, Alegre LM. Effects of Kinesio((R)) taping on skeletal muscle strength-A meta-analysis of current evidence. Journal of science and medicine in sport / Sports Medicine Australia. 2015 Jul;18(4):450-6. PubMed PMID: 25027771. Epub 2014/07/17. eng.
  2. Freedman SR, Brody LT, Rosenthal M, Wise JC. Short-term effects of patellar kinesio taping on pain and hop function in patients with patellofemoral pain syndrome. Sports health. 2014 Jul;6(4):294-300. PubMed PMID: 24982700. Pubmed Central PMCID: PMC4065564. Epub 2014/07/02. eng.


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IMG_0129Patrick Mc Carrick MISCP



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