233-E Bell Fork Rd.
Jacksonville, NC 28540
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Kinesiology Tape: What is it and How does it work?

Have you noticed the brightly colored tape being worn by both professional and recreational athletes? If you’ve watched sports on TV or have recently participated in a local 5K race you’ve probably started to notice more and more professional athletes, Olympic athletes and recreational athletes sporting brightly colored tape often wrapped in various patterns over their bodies.  What you are likely seeing is kinesiology tape.  

What is it?

Kinesiology taping was developed in the 1970’s by a Japanese medical professional and was introduced to the United States in the 1990’s. Kinesiology tape differs greatly from traditional sports tape in that it is very flexible, allows for range of motion at a joint rather than restricting motion, and can stay on for several days.  The tape can be applied with varying degrees of tension and also in different patterns to create the desired effect. 

Some of the main uses of the tape include:

Power taping for Sports Performance – a revolutionary new concept that can be used to proactively improve performance for athletes in all sports.

Rehab Specific - taping for pain control

Edema Control – taping to reduce swelling and chronic edema

Posture Control – a structural approach which creates postural awareness and correction

Pregnancy Specific Taping – focuses on common physical ailments experienced by pregnant women. Of course, many of these problems are not issues that only pregnant women encounter.  A great alternative to a bulky pregnancy or belly belt

There are numerous manufacturers and brands of kinesiology tape and it can be purchased from many medical professionals and retail locations.

The scientific evidence and research on the tape is mixed. But we utilize it daily in our clinic with great results for patients seeking pain relief, swelling control, support of weak muscles and postural re-education.   The athletes we consult with also find very favorable results using it for performance enhancement and endurance during their athletic events. Other than the rare case of skin irritation or skin rash from an abnormal reaction to the tape there are no side effects to using it which makes it a great option for many seeking pain relief or muscle support.

From my personal experience utilizing it in the clinic for over 10 years and after countless hours of continuing education spent learning the science of the tape and the skills related to the proper application I strongly believe the benefits of kinesiology tape are related to the skill used in the application.  My advice for anyone inquiring about kinesiology tape is to first consult with a medical professional who has specialty training in the proper application of the tape to learn how to apply it for maximum therapeutic or performance benefit. In many cases once you’ve been taught you can independently apply it or have a family member or friend apply it for you. So give it a shot, you might be surprised how well a few simple strips can make a world of difference.


Kira Boyd MSPT, ATC

Clinic Director /Partner

Synergy Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine



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