How Does Kinesio Tape Work?


Quick Answer

Kinesio Tape is purported to work by alleviating pain, relaxing muscles, reducing inflammation and enhancing performance in athletes who wear it around their arms, legs and other extremities. There is controversy over the tape's effects. Some experts believe the benefit demonstrates a placebo effect, meaning users of the tape believe it helps them, although there is no scientific proof that it does.

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Full Answer

Kinesio Tape was invented in 1970 by a chiropractor. Several studies on the effectiveness of the tape have led experts to believe there is inconclusive medical or scientific evidence for its ability to provide muscle relief. Results that supported the tape's ability to provide pain relief were not clinically significant. Evidence on the tape's ability to affect range of motion were inconsistent. There is evidence that Kinesio tape can positively affect muscle strength. Muscle activity was affected, but it was inconclusive if these changes were beneficial.

Outside the clinical community, experts involved in sports have proposed several reasons why Kinesio tape may be beneficial. Some have argued that it relieves tension in the muscles. Many have argued that the effect is purely psychological, explaining that athletes get a boost when they place the tape on the bodies, especially in anticipation of a game or performance.

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