runners using kinesiology tape
legs runner in compression socks and kinesiology tape on knees running on water

Kinesiology tape is a therapeutic tape used to treat musculoskeletal injuries. This form of therapeutic tape was originally created by Kenzo Kase, a Japanese chiropractor, in the 1970s. The majority of kinesiology tapes are made from cotton, acrylic adhesive, latex free, and are hypoallergenic and water resistant.

Since becoming popular in 2008 during the Olympic Games, kinesiology tape like Mueller’s Typhoon ELITE has been used in sports rehabilitation settings all over the world to help with sports injuries. Although the current research on kinesiology tape has not been conclusive to confirm the effectiveness of the tape, clinicians around the world have continued to see an improvement in their patients’ symptoms when kinesiology tape is applied properly.

Kinesiology tape is believed to have a microscopic lifting effect (decompression) on the skin, causing the tape to slightly lift the fascia (skin), increasing the blood flow beneath the surface and the circulation of lymph fluid. Kinesiology tape helps promote oxygen to the area, improving blood flow to the area, and aiding in the removal of wastes and byproducts created by inflammation, assisting in the healing rate of the injury1.

The tape may also have an effect on pain receptors in the skin. Applying the tape may provide some neurosensory feedback, interfering with signals to the brain. Altering these pain signals to the brain may affect your pain, making you feel better almost immediately.

What is kinesiology tape used for?

  • Sports injury rehabilitation2 (improved blood flow, pain relief)
      • – I see the best results with musculoskeletal injuries (i.e. – calf strain, shoulder impingement, low back pain, plantar fasciitis, PFPS… etc)


  • Improving human performance (by delaying fatigue)
      • – In theory, patients recovering from injuries, may use the tape on the area to help delay fatigue in the injured muscle as they return to sport (i.e. – taping of a hamstring post strain or tendonopathy)


  • Helps with alignment issues
      • – Tactile cueing for someone with poor posture – a reminder to straighten up! (i.e. – use on the upper back to prevent the poor postural alignment of thoracic kyphosis/ rounded upper back)


How to Apply Kinesiology Tape:

    • Make sure the area is clean of all lotions and/ or sweat (less hair the better).


    • If the tape is not pre-cut, round the edges by cutting them to help prevent the tape from getting caught on articles of clothing. (use these scissors)


    • Once the anchor (first part of the tape) is put down (0% stretch), you should rub it with the tape paper, not your hands (heat will activate the glue & oils from hands may affect the adhesiveness).


    • Stretch the tape 50-75% and lay the tape across the muscle belly.


    • 0% Stretch on the tape and anchor the other end.


    • Once again rub the full length of the tape with the tape paper to activate the glue.

Here are a couple great instructional videos on applying kinesiology tape medial elbow and kinesiology taping techniques for ankle stability.

The misconception of comparing kinesiology tape to white tape.
This is a totally different sports tape. Kinesiology tape is therapeutic and works to improve blood flow/ oxygen. White tape is extremely rigid and is meant to provide a temporary cast / stabilization to an area or joint.

Origin to insertion misconception:
Some clinicians believe that muscles are facilitated when the kinesiology tape is applied from the origin to the insertion, and inhibited when the direction is applied from the insertion to the origin. My experience shows that the tape is going to work the same regardless of the direction.


1 – Wu et al concluded physiological changes (
2 – Williams et al showed a beneficial effect in improving range of motion and strength (