Select Page

This following post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.

What is Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiotape is a very flexible high-grade cotton medical tape first developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase from Japan. The tape was designed with the famous fingerprint wave pattern that can help lift the skin to create space between the skin and tissue layers. The tape can help relieve discomfort, inflammation, and swelling. Kinesiotape is the brand name, but there are many other types of kinesiology tape on the market as well.

Disclaimer

Although I am a physical therapist by profession, I am not your physical therapist.  This information is for educational purposes only, it does not constitute medical advice and does not establish any kind of therapist-patient relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.

Precautions & Things to Know Before Using Kinesiology Tape

  • Prep your skin – make sure it is clean and dry and free from lotions
  • Do not tape over any open wounds
  • Tape can last 3 to 5 days however if any redness or discomfort occurs, remove promptly
  • The adhesive is heat activated, so rubbing helps the tape to adhere and to withstand sweating, showering and swimming
  • Always round the edges to help the tape
  • With pregnancy, your skin stretches and can become more sensitive, again remove if your skin becomes irritated
  • Always leave an anchor of 1 inch on either side of tape application that is not stretched for better durability

What & Where to Buy?

In the clinic, I always use Kinesiotape brand tape, however Rock Tape, KT Tape, and SpiderTech are other good options. You can purchase pre-cut tape, but buying a roll of tape gives you greater customization and flexibility (and less wasting).

Depending on where your pain is, there are different taping patterns to help address your specific pain. Read more below on each taping option to determine the best fit for you. If you’re pregnant, check out this article to look at different taping patterns to use during pregnancy.

Kinesiotape For Knee Pain

Kinesiotape can be a valuable tool for managing knee pain due to its multifaceted benefits. Firstly, it provides structural support to the knee joint without restricting movement excessively, allowing for natural mobility while reducing strain on injured muscles and ligaments. Additionally, kinesiotape helps alleviate pain by promoting better circulation and lymphatic drainage in the affected area, which can reduce inflammation and swelling. Moreover, the tape’s proprioceptive feedback enhances body awareness and joint stability, potentially minimizing the risk of further injury. Its versatility allows for customizable applications tailored to individual needs, whether targeting specific muscles or addressing general knee discomfort. As part of a comprehensive treatment plan, kinesiotape offers a non-invasive and easily accessible option for managing knee pain, complementing other interventions such as physical therapy and exercise.

  • Cut the tape in one long strip and one shorter strip
    • 1 approximately 4-5 squares
    • 1 approximately 2-3 squares
  • On the longer strip, cut into a Y and round out each edge
    • On the Y strip, rip the tape at the anchor, place just below your knee
    • Take each part of the Y and place it around your knee – one on the inside, and one on the outside
    • Remember to leave 1 inch at the end of the tape unstretched
  • Round the edges on the shorter strip
    • With the last piece, rip the tape in the center and peel back the paper leaving 1 inch at either end of the tape
    • Gently stretch the tape and place this piece below your knee across the first piece of tape
    • Stop stretching and gently place the anchors unstretched onto your skin as you peel off the backing
    • Remember to leave 1 inch at each end of the tape unstretched
  • Note: Make sure the tape ends on your skin versus on top of another piece of tape, it helps the longevity

Removing the Tape

The tape can be used for 3-5 days as long as there is no skin irritation. If it starts to peel back, you can trim the edges of the tape or try to smooth it out again. If you want to remove it, you can use baby oil (or olive, sweet almond, coconut oil works too) to help break down the adhesive. Apply the oil, let it soak in for a few minutes, and peel back slowly. You can also try removing it directly after a shower when it is softened. Remove any excess adhesive with oil.


Remember that kinesiology tape is just one tool for managing knee pain, and it’s essential to address the underlying cause of your pain with appropriate treatment and rehabilitation exercises. If you’re unsure about taping techniques or have persistent knee pain, consult a healthcare professional for guidance.