Tape It Up: How Does Kinesiology Tape Work?
By Kelly O'Mara
The brightly colored tape is being seen on endurance athletes everywhere, but what does it do?
Although it can be applied in a variety of patterns, the tape predominantly works in a few key ways. Kinesiology tape offers structural or muscle support; it can correct postural problems and increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
When the tape is applied correctly, it achieves the last of these effects by lifting the skin to create a small space between the muscle and dermis layers. That space takes the pressure off swelling or injured muscles, allows smooth muscle movement and makes space for drainage and blood flow.
“We’re talking a very, very small space of separation, but it’s enough,” said Dr. Justin Pierce, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based chiropractor who uses the tape on his patients.