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How Does Kinesiology Tape Work?

How Does Kinesiology Tape Work?
Akanksha Nigam

What Is Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiology tape (KT Tape or athletic tape) is a treatment option for injuries and illnesses that lead to mobility and motor function issues. You may have noticed athletes wearing these tape strips on their bodies. These colorful strips of special tape are placed on the body to support joints (like the knee, shoulder, ankle, and wrist), muscles, and tendons and facilitate muscle functions, stabilize joints, and inhibit muscles from contracting. It also decreases muscle spasms, pain, and swelling.

How Does Kinesiology Tape Work?

Kinesio tape is made from cotton and nylon, making it stretchy and pulling back skin when applied to the affected area. KT Tape is designed to imitate the skin's elasticity without losing the full range of motion. Formulated with water-resistant, medical-grade adhesive, sports tape is strong enough to stay on for days, even while working out or showering.

1. Reduces Friction By Creating Space Between The Joints

One study found that when kinesiology tape was applied over the knee, it created space within the joint. Another study found that shoulder tape also created space in that joint when applied. The benefit of this space is that it reduces friction and irritation caused by the bones of the joints rubbing together during movement.

2. Changes in Sensory Information Sent to the Brain

Our tissues have sensory receptors that sense touch, pain, and temperature. Some physical therapists feel that alters the information our sensory nervous system sends to the brain about pain and compression in the body. As athletic tape lifts the skin, it unloads the underlying tissues, which alters the pain signals sent to the brain and decreases pain and spasms after injury.

3. Improves Blood Circulation

A study also found that KT tape improves blood circulation by the way it compresses the skin, which reduces swelling and helps muscles heal. This study also showed that these tapes increase blood flow which is important for tissue function, and have a therapeutic significance in pain management and musculoskeletal rehab.

This happens because the tape causes the epidermis to lift away from the underlying tissues. The dermis contains an interwoven network of blood and lymphatic vessels that helps meet the skin's nutritional and metabolic demands. As the pressure from these tissues is lessened or removed, they return to normal activity and enhance blood flow.

What Does Kinesiology Tape Do?

Some of the important functions of an athletic wrap tape are as follows:

1. Treats Injuries

One of the most common uses is to tape injuries. Many athletes suffer from sports-related injuries that result in swelling and limited range of motion. KT tape for knee pain relieves swelling from these injuries.

2. Supports Weak Joints

KT tape for shoulder pain provides stability to a weakened joint. It conforms to the skin contour, facilitates motion, and inhibits pain and spasms. KT shoulder tape is also helpful for conditions such as patellofemoral stress syndrome, IT band friction syndrome, or Achilles tendonitis.

3. Helps Regain Muscle Strength

Kinesiology tape can help the muscles resume their normal functioning leading to enhanced muscle strength. 

Research shows that KT tape also helps improve the posture of your head and neck by applying prolonged stretch on muscles. The muscle and collagen tissue are adaptable, and research indicates that prolonged and low-load stretches are more effective on these tissues. The KT tape maintains proper alignment of the shoulder and neck with the help of this prolonged stretch. 

4. Enhances Performance

Some athletes use  KT tape to help them perform better by avoiding sudden injury. It is also used during marathons. Runners apply the tape on their glutes so that the muscles stay active during the marathon and receive increased blood flow.

5. Manages Scars

Research has found that Kinesio tape is good for scar management by the way it pulls the skin, which causes collagen fibers to lay in a straighter pattern. This yields good results in managing hypertrophic scars, keloids, and scar contractures.

5 Best KT Tapes

HPFY carries a wide range of products related to sports injuries. Some of the best kinesiology tapes at HPFY are:

1. BSN Leukotape K Kinesiology Tape

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Keep your muscles safe from injury with this kinesiology tape for athletes. Designed for comfort and durability, this tape is stretchable, easy to remove, and can be worn during sports and showering.

Features of BSN Leukotape K Kinesiology Tape

  • High tensile strength
  • Adheres well to the skin
  • Dirt and water repellant
  • Stays in place for days
BSN Leukotape K Kinesiology Tape



2. Theraband Kinesiology Tape

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Supports joints and muscles and is ideal for use in clinics and other facilities. Small and large octagon design indicates when the tape is stretched to 25% or 50%. It can be worn during and after activity.

Features of Theraband Kinesiology Tape

  • Non-irritating 
  • Latex-free
  • Designed with Cramer Sports Medicine’s best-in-class adhesion
  • Does not immobilize or restrict the range of motion
  • Unique guide indicators allow a customized fit
TheraBand Kinesiology Tape



3. PerformTex Original Cotton Kinesiology Tape

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Twin-groove technology and design create a pressure diamond pattern to facilitate increased mechanical transduction input. It is made of 100% cotton and is water-resistant.

Features of PerformTex Original Cotton Kinesiology Tape

  • Stays for up to 5 days
  • Suitable for all ages
  • Wicks away moisture and sweat
  • Latex-free 
  • FSA Approved
PerformTex Original Cotton Kinesiology Tape



4. KT Tape Pro Team USA Red Olympic Elastic Sports Tape

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Designed to perform in the harshest environment. It has a much longer elastic core, delivering better support for muscles, joints, and tendons. This tape allows the user a full range of motion. It has 100% synthetic microfibers, which help with better aquatic performance. 

Features of KT Tape Pro Team USA Red Olympic Elastic Athletic Tape

  • Water-resistant
  • Anti-microbial
  • Wearable for up to 7 days
  • FSA Approved
KT Tape Pro Team USA Red Olympic Elastic Sports Tape



5. Carex Strengthtape Kinesiology Tape Precut Roll

FSA Eligible Items FSA Approved

Provides support to muscles, joints, and tendons without limiting the range of motion. This tape is applied to the targeted areas directly over and around the injury. Its unique properties help to improve blood flow and lymphatic circulation.

Features of Carex Strengthtape Kinesiology Tape Precut Roll

Carex Strengthtape Kinesiology Tape Precut Roll



Kinesiology Tape is widely used for injuries to relieve pain and swelling. It has multiple benefits and makes it easy to engage in sports activities. An important note about KT Tapes: they should NOT be used for open wounds, deep vein thrombosis, active cancers, lymph node removal, diabetes, allergies, or on fragile skin. For more information, consult your doctor before using Kinesio tape.


Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Akanksha Nigam

Akanksha Nigam

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Akanksha Nigam has been a Health Products For You contributor since 2021. With a Masters Degree in Finance, she began her Marketing career in the banking industry. However, her interest in human ...

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