9 Amazing Benefits of Kinesio Tape

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Kinesio tape has been helping athletes and regular people with their inflammation for more than three decades, but before you start using this tape there are a few things that you should understand.

What is Kinesio Tape?

Kinesio tape is an elastic adhesive tape that can be worn for days to help with inflammation, flexibility and muscle movement. Originally patented back in 1979 by Dr. Kenzo Kase, This tape contains no latex and is hypoallergenic. More importantly, Kinesio tape is water resistant and does not limit a person’s range of motion. For this reason, this tape has been used by athletes, bodybuilders, weekend warriors, geriatric patients and pediatric patients around the world. Its function is based on the principles of kinesiology, the study of the way the body moves. Featuring one side with a 100% cotton strip and the other with a 100% medical grade adhesive, this tape is one of the safest on the market and also the original form of kinesiology tape. [1]

An older man with kinesio tape on his arm getting a kinesio taping therapy  by another man

Kinesio tape is a rehabilitative taping technique which helps in the healing process after an injury. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How Does Kinesio Tape Work?

  • Kinesio tape works by gently pulling the skin upwards, giving more space to the interstitial fluid and relieving inflammation.
  • This tape also works to both stimulate and relax muscles, making it extremely popular with athletes for those who want to maximize their physical performance. [2]
  • By using the tape the blood flow can be improved and the lymphatic system can work more efficiently to eliminate toxins from the body.
  • Despite the simple appearance of these rectangular strips, they can be applied in many ways around the body to improve physical function.
  • Some studies also claimed that this type of tape can help boost the health of the nervous system and improve homeostasis.
  • Certain specialized shapes, formed by combining multiple strips of this tape, can help heal long-term injuries and promote the gradual change of muscle patterns in tension areas

Applications for Kinesio Tape

Kinesio tape can be used on many parts of the body for treating running injuries, bruises and contusions and reducing lower back pain, among others.


There are many precut sizes of Kinesio tape for knee injuries and additional support for that important joint. The key is to form a strong circle around the kneecap with strips of tape moving outwards from there. [3]

Bruises and Contusions

You can place Kinesio tape directly on bruises and contusions to relieve the inflammation and speed the healing process. You will feel a reduction in pressure and an improvement in the physical appearance of the wound.


A technique called fan taping, using narrow strips of this tape can be used to reduce excess swelling caused by edema. This technique can create negative pressure, which encourages fluid drainage from the affected area. [4]


When applying this tape to the ankle, be sure to add additional tape to support your Achilles’ heel, as well as the bridge of the foot. Tape on the ankles should be worn for 3 to 5 days for optimal effect.

Lower Back Pain

If you suffer from lower back pain, a simple upside down T pattern of these tape strips can help relieve inflammation, pain, and unwanted tension.

Running Injuries

Injuries while running are extremely common, and you want to speed healing process as soon as possible. Kinesio tape can be an effective way of preventing injuries, as well as getting you back to your normal routine faster. [5]

Strength and Muscle Tone

By adding support and increasing blood flow, this tape can help maximize your workouts to improve strength and muscle tone. [6]

Muscle Spasms and Cramping

For those people who regularly suffer from muscle spasms and cramping, particularly during workouts, this tape can help to relieve those irritating aspects of exercise.

Wrist and Shoulder Injuries

Kinesio tape is well known as a remedy for shoulder and wrist injuries, although proper application on the wrist and shoulders can be difficult. [7]

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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