Kinesio Tape – How Useful is it?

Posted on by Ross Harris

In July 2012 the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) upheld a complaint against LimbVolume’s (t/a Kinesio UK) claims regarding the benefits of Kinesio Tape. The complaint challenged whether the following claims were misleading and could be substantiated:

  1. The description of the therapy under the heading “How does Kinesio Taping Work?”
  2. The efficacy of claims that the therapy could be used for “Lymphoedema treatment, Sports Injuries, Hand Therapy, Paediatrics, Scar Taping”
  3. The claim “Kinesio Tex® can assist many conditions including: TMJ Dysfunction; Headaches (tension), Whiplash, Torticollis, Shoulder Impingement/Subluxation, Rotator Cuff Tear, Biciptal Tendonitis, Tennis/Golfers Elbow, Compartment Syndrome, Trigger Finger, Forward Shoulder, Thoracic Outlet Syndrome, Shin Splits, Foot Drop, Herniated Disk, Sciatica, De Quervains, Low Back Sprain/Strain, Sacroiliac Sprain/Strain, Piriformis Syndrome, Quadriceps Strain, Toe Cramps, Sprained Ankle, Meniscus Tear (minor), Osteoarthritis of Knee, Calf Cramps, Plantar Fascitis, Bunions, Post Operative/Traumatic Oedema, Hamstring Strain, Bells Palsy, Headaches (Migraine), Tinnitis (SCM cause), Frozen Shoulder.”
  4. The claims that the therapy could “Reduce Swelling, Alleviate Pain and Manage Oedema” and subsequent description “The taping method can substantially aid sufferers of Lymphoedema by increasing the body’s ability to drain lymphatic fluid to healthy lymph nodes. This is achieved using Kinesio Taping® techniques which have been designed specifically to aid lymphatic drainage”.

In response to the complaint LimbVolume provided 47 case studies, articles and clinical trials, which they believed substantiated their claims. After a careful examination of the research, the ASA upheld all four of the complaints against LimbVolume.

Does this mean there are no benefits to Kinesio Tape, and as such, should we all stop using it? Well it’s not quite as simple as that. In many cases the research shows some benefits for its application, however, a lot of these studies are of poor quality, poor design or have very small numbers. Therefore, the ASA failed to find enough good quality research to substantiate the many claims made by the LimbVolume. This is not the same as saying Kinesio Tape doesn’t work, it means that a lot more good quality research is required before claims can be made about its’ effectiveness. For a detailed explanation of why the ASA upheld the complaints, take a look at the ASA report on the matter.

Although I’m very skeptical about many of the claims made regarding the benefits of Kinesio Tape, I do feel it has a role to play in Physiotherapy. Where I’ve found it to be most effective is when using it to offload soft tissues, as you would do with traditional taping techniques. This can be extremely useful when trying to reduce the forces on healing tissues with many different types of injuries, from acute muscle strains to chronic tendonopathies. The benefit of using Kinesio Tape over traditional tape is that it tends to adhere better to the skin and therefore stays on for longer. It also appears to be a lot more comfortable to wear.

2 Responses to Kinesio Tape – How Useful is it?

kinesio tape says: 30/12/2012 at 2:35 pm

Kinesio tape as well as particularly the actual Flexotaping — myofascial kinesiology taping has turned into a craze within the casual globe. You’d be amazed to determine sports athletes through various regions of sports activities putting on this on the arms, hands, thighs, along with other limbs. Have you been asking yourself such a kinesio tape actually is as well as what’s the advantage of putting on this?
As well as the sports activities individual, bodily practitioners, acupuncturists, doctors as well as doctors of chiropractic, individuals through normal strolls associated with existence additionally make use of the kinesiotape with regard to minimize muscle discomfort along with other conditions for example head ache, feet pain, back again discomfort, as well as discomfort within shoulder blades, neck of the guitar, as well as thighs, amongst others.

Ross Harris says: 30/12/2012 at 8:28 pm

Although Kinesio tape is commonly used by many people around the world, there is very little evidence to suggest that it actually has any greater effect than applying normal tape to an injury. In fact some of the claims made about Kinesio Tape appear to be completely unsubstantiated. The only real benefit I can see over conventional taping is that it stays on much longer, which is the reason I would occasionally use it.


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