Kinesio Taping: A Safe and Effective Technique in PT

Kinesio taping of neck

Enhancing Physical Therapy with Kinesio Taping: Effective Treatment for Injuries and Conditions


Kinesio taping (KT) is an emerging physical therapy technique that has been used for various applications, from relieving pain to recovering from sports injuries. Developed in Japan by chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase in the late 1970s, KT involves using an elastic therapeutic tape on specific areas of the body to help improve movement and reduce pain.

In recent years, its popularity has grown significantly among physical therapists and athletes as an effective way to treat a wide range of injuries and medical conditions.

What Is Kinesio Taping?

Kinesio taping is a type of elastic therapeutic tape that is applied directly onto the skin with the goal of providing relief from pain, improving joint motion, and promoting healing. The tape is made of a cotton-elastic material, which is designed to be comfortable and breathable against the skin while providing support for the muscles and joints.

Kinesio taping is often used in combination with other physical therapy techniques, such as manual therapy or exercise, to enhance the effectiveness of treatment. It can also be used on its own as a stand-alone treatment.

The Science Behind Kinesio Taping

Kinesio taping works by gently lifting the skin and underlying tissues, which helps to reduce pressure on the muscles and joints. This action can improve circulation in the area, help reduce inflammation, decrease pain, and provide support for weak or injured muscles. The tape also creates feedback to the brain, which can help reduce pain and improve movement.

Benefits and Uses of Kinesio Taping in Physical Therapy

Kinesio taping has been used for a variety of applications in physical therapy. It is most commonly used to address chronic pain, muscle strain, joint instability, swelling, inflammation, joint stiffness, and post-surgical edema. It is also used to improve the range of motion and coordination in patients with neurological conditions such as stroke, brain injury, and cerebral palsy.

The Kinesio Taping Procedure

The procedure for applying kinesio tape is relatively quick and easy. The physical therapist will measure and cut the tape to fit the area that needs treatment. The application process typically involves cleaning the skin, pre-stretching the tape, and then applying it in a specific direction. The therapist will also instruct the patient on how to remove the tape at home when necessary.

Risks and Side Effects

Kinesio taping is generally considered safe with few risks or side effects. Unwanted reactions are rare but may include skin irritation or discomfort. Patients should inform their physical therapist if they experience any adverse reactions.

Comparisons with Other Techniques

Kinesio taping can be used in combination with other techniques such as manual therapy, exercise, and medications. It is important to note that Kinesio taping is not a replacement for traditional treatments, but rather an adjunct to them.


Kinesio taping is a safe and effective technique for treating injuries and conditions in physical therapy. It can be used to reduce inflammation, improve mobility, and enhance the overall quality of life for patients. With proper training and qualifications, physical therapists can utilize this technique to provide optimal care for their patients.