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Mechanism of Kinesio taping


Muscle function does not limit body's range of motion and it actively helps blood and lymph circulation. Heart provides blood circulation. However, lymph circulation depends on the skeletal muscle function. The disruption of muscle function causes a number of other symptoms. Therefore, muscle function healing effects on the healing process of injuries. Injured muscle becomes inflammated and swollen. It compresses and reduces the space between the skin and muscle. This leads to a deterioration in the lymph fluid outflow, which is required to remove the waste products of the damaged tissue. This compression effects on pain receptors in dermis (Figure 6) that transmit “signals of discomfort” to the brain. This type of pain is known as myalgia or muscle pain. (Website of Football Medicine, 2010)


Figure 6. Skin layers representation with the possible mechanic effect of Kinesio taping. (Website of Football Medicine, 2010)

According to a condition of injured area, Kinesio tape can be applied in two ways: unstretched and stretched. Before applying unstretched Kinesio tape, injured muscle and skin should be stretched over. It is necessary to stretch muscles and ligaments of the injured area. After applying unstretched Kinesio tape skin, muscles and ligaments start to contract and return to the original position, forming skin folds. Thus, the skin lifts over the injured muscle and ligament, giving more space and increasing lymphatic drainage. If the injured muscles and ligaments cannot be stretched, according to trauma then Kinesio tape is applied in a stretched form. Due to its flexibility, Kinesio tape forms wrinkles and support the injured area. (Website of Kinesiology taping guide).




Figure 7. Mechanism of Kinesio taping. (Website of The Fascia Therapy Blog, 2012)

In both forms, stretched and unstretched, Kinesio tape lifts the skin over the injured muscles and ligaments and provides pain relief, supports muscles and improve lymph circulation. The elasticity of Kinesio tape creates more pressure that stimulates nerve receptors, increasing proprioception and decreasing pain (Figure 7). (Website of Kinesiology taping guide).

5.3. Contraindications for Kinesio Taping

Kinesio taping is widely used nowadays. It is simple, cheap and effective technique that may help in different cases. Kinesio taping is very helpful in musculoskeletal conditions. However, there are certain patients with several conditions that may not get benefit from the Kinesio taping. Sometimes the condition might become even worse due to the tape effect. Kinesio tape cannot be applied in several cases. Contraindications are represented in Table 6.

Table 6. Contraindications of Kinesio taping. (Website of Kinesiopiste 2008-2016)


Contraindications for Kinesio taping
1. Deep vein thrombosis
2. Fragile skin
3. Infection (infected local area)
4. Kidney diseases (renal insufficiency)
5. Malignant tumor
6. Open wound area
7. Lymph cysts, fistula
8. Allergy on tape

“Also the following issues should be noted when Kinesio taping is considered:
Diabetes, absence of sensation, severe or untreated heart failure, acute asthma, high blood pressure, swelling of internal organs, swelling conduction to the other side of watershed if the side is already swollen or on the skin which is confronted with sustained pressure (lying, sitting)” (Website of Kinesiopiste 2008-2016). In addition, there are certain relative contraindications for using Kinesio taping, however not limited. In some conditions Kinesio taping can be applied but with caution. This conditions include sensitive or thin skin and lymph node removal. If any patient has those conditions, mentioned below, he or she has to contact to the doctor or physiotherapist to get the alternative treatment that suits his/her condition the best (Website of AboutHealth, 2014).



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