Kinesio Tape is an athletic tape developed by Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase in 1973. This thin, latex-free tape is made of breathable cotton and mimics the elasticity of skin and muscles. Using a water-repellant, medical-grade acrylic adhesive, Kinesio Tape can stick for several days, even through showers and exercising.
Application varies depending on the needs of the patient and the tape can be applied in single strips, or modified into “X” and “Y” or other specialized shapes. Generally, for patients with injured or overused muscles, the therapist will apply the tape from the tendons that attach the muscle to the bone up to the muscle origin, using no tension. For chronically injured or weak muscles, however, the tape is applied in the opposite direction, using light tension.
Since the tape is placed onto the body, not wrapped, blood and lymphatic fluid are allowed to flow freely. When the tape is applied, it also gently lifts the skin slightly away from the muscle, which further improves circulation and also decreases inflammation.
This tape is also designed to support the muscle, reduce muscle pain, reduce muscle fatigue, increase range of motion, prevent injury, and actually help the body heal itself faster after injury. Use of the tape as part of physical therapy treatment extends the benefits of manual therapy, speeding up rehabilitation.