What is kinesiology tape?
Kinesiology tape (k tape or kinesiotape) can be used for many and various injuries and complaints. It accelerates the self-healing ability of the body, provides support, stability and allows full range of motion. Kinesiology tape is an elastic cotton tape with an hypoallergenic, acrylic adhesive layer. It has been designed to mimic the skin in terms of elasticity and thickness. The kinetic tape is made of high quality materials, adheres to the skin for 3 to 7 days and is water resistant Kinesiology tape can be used throughout the entire healing process. Kinesiotape is successfully being applied to athletes when treating sports injuries.
Kinesiology tape specifications
• High quality cotton materials
• No additional medications used in manufacture
• Elastic therapeutic tape with a stretch ability of 130 to 140% (attributes similar to the human skin)
• Air and water permeable but resistant to water (showering, swimming)
• 100% hypoallergenic acrylic adhesive layer, arranged according to a wave pattern and activated under the influence of body heat
• CureTape® can adheres for several days
• Kinesiology taping is actively treating patients 24 hours a day
How does kinesiology tape work?
The elasticity of kinesiology tape has been designed to mirror the elasticity of the skin. Applied correctly, kinesiotape mimics the elasticity of the skin therefore influencing various subcutaneous structures. In the hands of a trained skillful therapist differing techniques can be used to correct and adapt physiological structures, such as microcirculation, neuroreceptors, lymph vessels and the fascia.
How to use and apply kinesiology tape?
Because kinesiology tape can be applied in a number of ways and due the fact that a variety of physiological structures can be influenced, the Medical Taping Concept has numerous fields of application. Once the clinician has assessed whether the deficit in the muscles ability is length or strength related, specific muscular taping can be used to normalize muscle function. Joint function can be corrected or stabilized by using techniques that work more on connective tissue. Specific lymph taping can stimulate lymphatic function to reduce oedema and haematomas. Through a segmental approach taping can be used to influence internal organs and both the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system.
How to apply kinesiotape and what is it used for?
Multiple taping techniques combined simutaniously in a therapists daily practice frequenty bear the best results in normalizing a patients biomechanics.
Other possible indications for taping would include: complaints due to overload, deviations in posture, sports injuries, menstruation problems, growing pains and bone contusions to name a few.
Why is kinesiology tape made in different colours?
Within a range of kinesiology tape, for example Curetape Punch®, the base of the kinesiotape is identical but only a different dye bath is used to create the various colours of kinesiotape. The hypoallergenic adhesive properties used in Curetape Sport® enable this tape to endure longer but the base tape is the same. Originally, the colours were chosen on the principles of ‘Colour therapy’. When applying coloured kinesiology tape, an aesthetic choice is often made in practice. Sometimes a therapist may use a certain colour for structural taping to support a joint and then a different colour to strap a muscle or simply you may use a ‘beige’ colour to tape with more discretely.
Are there pharmaceutical elements within kinesiology tape?
No pharmaceutical properties have been embedded in kinesiology tape. The positive effects achieved by using kinesiology tape are largely the result of Thysols R & D testing and the skillfull application of kinesiology tape to the patient.
Can kinesiotape get wet (swimming and shower)?
Yes, kinesiology tape can get wet. CureTape® kinesiotape has been designed to be water-resistant so showering, swimming and bathing can continue as normal. The cotton in kinesiology tape does absorb some water so after showering or swimming it is advisable to ‘dab’ dry kinesiology tape with a towel.
The way kinesiology tape adheres to the skin happens as body heat stimulates the adhesive hypoallergenic material in kinesiology tape to become tacky and affix to the skin. Therefore it is not recommended to use a heater or hair dryer to dry kinesiology tape as this may cause a skin reaction. Sunbaking or using a sunbed with kinesiology tape are also better avoided.
What precautions do I take when using kinesiology tape?
Kinesiology tape does not adhere well to greasy or oily substances such as body creams, lotions or massage oil. The use of cream rinse can also reduce the adhesive strength of kinesiology tape in shoulder or neck applications. Generally for best application the skin must be cleaned and degreased before taping.
Good practice would direct the therapist to place a small test patch of tape on the inner forearm to test for reactions to sensitive skin although reactions are rare.
Another option for very sensitive or thin skin is to use 3M’s Cavilon spray beforehand. This spray creates a protective film on the skin, preventing skin reactions. This film layer is slightly sticky, so that kinesiology tape will stick even better.
Is it possible to apply kinesiology tape over hair growth?
For best effects kinesiology tape should adhere directly to the skin. If there is too much hair, kinesiology tape will lie on the hair which can hinder or limit potential results. Removal of kinesiology tape from hairy bodies also obviously can generate some discomfort. If the patient or therapist can shave or trim the area to be treated prior to application would prove sensible. In some cases care would be taken not to remove too much hair to avoid folliculitis or wounds. In this case a trimmer would be recommended.
Is it possible to use kinesiotape over open wounds or damaged skin?
Kinesiology tape is not sterile and therefore cannot be applied over damaged skin. It is highly recommended to tape adjacent to the wound to accelerate and promote wound healing.
You can only tape scars after the wound is closed and able to take the load of tensioned tape.
Post radiotherapy sufficient time must have elapsed for the skin to recover before applying tape. According to the protocol, the first six weeks after the end of the radiation taping should not occur. Each patients healing rates will differ so clinical discretion must be used to determine when it is safe to apply tape.
Is CureTape® hypoallergenic kinesiology tape?
Yes, Curetape® Classic (medical tape) and associated Thysol kinesiology tapes (CureTape® Sports, CureTape® Punch and CureTape® Art) are made of hypoallergenic material. CureTape® is made of high quality cotton, through which latex-free elastic fibers are woven. A 100% acrylic adhesive layer is used, which is also well tolerated by people with a allergies to elastic plasters. The adhesive layer is woven in a wave pattern, so that the skin can breathe and body fluid can pass through kinesiology tape.
Occasionally skin irritations and allergies can occur in practice and are often due too:
- Technique errors, such as too much stretch on kinesiology tape or skin folds stuck to kinesiology tape;
- Sometimes due to the patients medications e.g., blood thinners;
- The incorrect removal of tape
- Sometimes we perceive there is a problem when there is not. E.g., kinesiology tape has a normalizing effect on the blood flow so if a reddening of the skin is observed it may not be due to irritation.
Occasionally a sympathetic overreaction of the body can occur;
- In all cases if there is any doubt please remove kinesiology tape!
How to remove kinesiotape?
Kinesiology tape should be removed calmly and carefully, to prevent skin irritations or skin damage, kinesiology tape is not a band aid.
Effective removing kinesiotape:
- Determine the direction the hair is growing. Hold the skin above kinesiology tape and pull slowly but firmly in the direction of hair growth, removing and repositioning section by section. Always soak kinesiology tape well beforehand.
- For more vulnerable skin or children: rub kinesiology tape with (baby) oil, let the oil drain well. This will easily release kinesiology tape.
- Another useful tool is Sterilium. Let it soak in for a short time so that the adhesive layer has a chance to soften or dissolve before removing kinesiology tape.
Use of irritants is not recommended if there is a lymph problem.
Can I apply kinesiology tape myself?
For a positive result, it is necessary fully understand your condition and the technique of kinesiology taping that best applies to the condition.
Improper use can cause a counterproductive effect or even create a new problem! We recommend that you only tape yourself after a thorough explanation and good instructions from a therapist with sufficient taping experience.
If in doubt you should always contact a physician who has sufficient knowledge of the Kinesiology Taping Concept.
How long can kinesiology tape be worn?
Kinesiology tape may remain in place as long as it adheres. On average, a tape will last for 4 to 6 days. Applications with a hand or foot may release more rapidly which is also the case for oily skinned patients.
Kinesiology tape absorbs the skin heat and adheres optimally after about half an hour. Dressing for the first time must therefore be done carefully to prevent the ends from coming loose. Once kinesiology tape has reached skin temperature, the vulnerability when dressing or undressing declines.
Tip: after applying kinesiotape, rub kinesiology tape with talcum powder. The talcum powder adheres to the edges of the kinesiotape so that kinesiology tape does not stick to the clothes.
Can kinesiology tape be used during pregnancy?
Some kinesiotaping techniques, as with massages, are highly beneficial during pregnancy, yet also some techniques may stimulate body function. So it is always recommended during pregnancy to err on the side of caution and seek professional advice prior to pregnancy kinesiology taping.
Medical Taping conditions
As one of the foundation companies THYSOL introduced kinesiology taping to the medical market in Europe. CureTape® kinesiology tape is produced in our own factory in Korea and meets the highest quality standards. CureTape® can be used for various conditions, injuries and complaints.