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Kinesiotape: What is it and how can it help you?

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3dpt Pediatric Physical Therapy

You've seen athletes on TV with strips of colored tape on their bodies, from the Olympic Games to the NCAA tournament. First popularized in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, this taping method was first developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase 30 years ago in Japan. The Method was designed to facilitate the body's natural healing process while allowing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body's range of motion. Although the media has primarily associated Kinesio Taping with popular athletes, 85% of its applications are for non athletes. It is used to successfully treat a variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurological and medical conditions. Kinesio Taping has become a very popular technique in the worlds of physical therapy and athletic training, but what is it, and what are the benefits?

What is Kinesiotape?

3dpt Pediatric Physical Therapy


Kinesiotape consists of a strip of cotton elastic tape with a latex-free adhesive on the back. It is breathable and stretches up to 140% of its original length, which helps it move more freely and adhere longer than traditional athletic tape. Kinesio Taping was designed to mimic the human epidermis in texture and thickness, for a natural feel and way of moving.


How Does Kinesio Taping Work?

1. Decreasing pain

3dpt Pediatric Physical TherapyWhen we have a sore area, what do we do? We rub it. It’s instinctual. The tactile pressure from the rubbing motion stimulates the fibers in our skin and makes us feel better. Wearing Kinesiotape for long periods of time can provide longer pain relief. It appears that the light, sustained compression of Kinesiotape improves lymph flow, by lifting the skin and creating room for improved lymphatic drainage, and this is where the significant pain relief that patients consistently report comes from.

2. Decreasing swelling/edema

The elastic properties of the tape allow for light recoil when being applied. This recoil gently lifts the skin and improves/helps get rid of swelling. I have found it to be an excellent supplemental treatment to be used with the typical ice/compression/elevation.

3. Improving muscle performance

3dpt Pediatric Physical TherapyThe elastic properties of Kinesiotape allow the injured or arthritic joint to be placed in the correct biomechanical position, allowing the healing muscles to work in their best position, and it reduces counterproductive painful and excessive stretch on healing ligaments and tendons. It also balances the muscles acting around the joint, which reduces muscle guarding and pain. It is highly effective for muscle re-education and enhances athletic and physical performance.



Kinesiotape is still relatively new to the athletic and medical worlds, and all benefits of its use have yet to be determined. It does seem, however, to be a simple and noninvasive procedure that physical therapists, trainers, and athletes can use to improve comfort and performance on a daily basis. If you'd like to see how Kinesio Taping can improve your condition, contact our physical therapists and we'll get you started on your way to stronger, more natural movement.

Ryan McDevitt, PT, DPT





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"The team at 3DPT is made up of dedicated and caring Physical Therapists whose expertise and hands-on approach are what I seek for my patients. It is their fundamental philosophy that has made my professional experiences with them nothing short of exemplary."

     -      Dr. Kathryn Gollotto, DO - Orthopedic Reconstruction Specialists