What is Kinesiology Tape, and How Does it Work?

What is Kinesiology Tape, and How Does it Work?

Physical therapist applying tape to patient

Kinesiology is the study of human body movement, but the term also describes a form of therapy that corrects problems with muscle balance and biomechanics. This approach typically involves gently correcting under-active or chronically stressed muscles and tendons with targeted exercises and stretches, and with tools such as kinesiology tape. How does kinesiology tape work, exactly? Let’s take a look at how this supportive and elastic material can reduce pain, rebuild balance, and activate the body’s natural healing process.

How Does Kinesiology Tape Work?

Kinesiology tape strategically impedes or facilitates the activity of certain muscles, bringing them back into balance with surrounding muscles and tissues. Once the proper alignment is regained, the muscles and tendons can build the strength and flexibility required for balanced biomechanics and pain-free movement.

If muscle imbalance is causing pain, swelling, and other problems, a conservative intervention to try could be kinesiology tape — rather than resorting to more invasive solutions right away. For example, kinesiology tape for shoulder pain could help alleviate inflammation due to  shoulder impingement  by cuing the proper muscles to fire and calming the overactive muscles with tactile feedback.  Although taping won’t necessarily stop injuries from happening, it can definitely help in the recovery process and speed up recovery time from injury. 

What Does Kinesiology Tape Do? 

Constructed of breathable material like cotton or a cotton blend, kinesiology tape is highly elastic and great at providing controlled compression and decompression of a sensory area. By supporting muscles in their share of the workload, it can:

  • Correct posture and promote better biomechanics
  • Deliver slight pressure to disrupt and dissipate pain signals
  • Encourage the proper function of a muscle with no loss of motion
  • Gently pull the skin away from the muscles to support the circulation of oxygenated blood and lymphatic fluids
  • Provide slight pressure to stimulate underactive muscles

Learn How to Use Kinesiology Tape to Reduce Pain and Enhance Athletic Performance

Reach out to one of our Chicagoland facilities to find out why kinesiology taping might be the missing part of your sports recovery program! Whether you’re wondering how to apply kinesiology tape to manage knee pain or how to use kinesiology tape properly after shoulder surgery, we can help! Our licensed physical therapists and athletic trainers can show you exactly how to use kinesiology tape to support your athletic performance and reduce your risk of injury.