The authors are from the University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
The authors have no financial or proprietary interest in the materials presented herein.
Address correspondence to Andrew Baker, MEd, ATC, CKTP, University of Virginia, McCue Center Room 112, 290 Massie Road, Charlottesville, VA 22903; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kinesio taping is a taping method thought to reduce pain,1 increase range of motion, and decrease inflammation by activating the neurological and circulatory systems. The theory behind the method is that muscles are not only responsible for movement of the body, but also help control the circulation of the venous and lymphatic systems. When a muscle is impaired, the ability to aid in venous and lymphatic flow may also be impaired due to decreased function, increased inflammation, and changes in circulation.2
Kinesio tape is thought to assist overworked muscles and facilitate the smaller, inhibited muscles that may result from a muscle imbalance. The wave pattern on the tape, as well as tape tension and tissue stretching during the application, has a lifting effect on the skin that can help to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, reduce edema, and reduce pressure on pain receptors.2,3
Patellar tendinopathy is a condition associated with inflammation and pain of the patellar tendon. The application of Kinesio tape may be used to decrease symptoms associated with patellar tendinopathy. The U-Strip technique (Figure 1) is a basic technique in which tape is placed over the patellar tendon.
Figure 1. Patellar Tendinopathy U-Strip Technique. (A) The Kinesio Tape Should Be Measured and Cut Equal to the Distance from the Medial to the Lateral Femoral Condyle. Patients Are in a Supine or Long-Sitting Position with Their Knee Extended. (B) Tear the Paper Backing of the Kinesio Tape in the Middle and Expose the Middle Third of the Tape Length. Place the Middle of the Tape Strip over the Inferior Pole of the Patella. Apply Tape with 25% to 50% (moderate) Tension and Downward Pressure over Inferior Pole of Patella.2 (C) The Patient Flexes the Knee to Approximately 90° and the Kinesio Tape Is Laid Around the Patella in the Direction of the Vastus Medialis and the Lateralis with 15% to 25% Tension.2
It is thought to reduce pain and improve blood and lymphatic flow by mechanically lifting the skin over the tendon and decreasing pressure on pain receptors. The final position (Figure 2) does not restrict the knee’s range of motion, allowing individuals to continue normal activity as tolerated.
Figure 2. Final Position of Tape.
- González-Iglesias J, Fernández-de-Las-Peñas C, Cleland JA, Huijbregts P, Del Rosario Gutiérrez-Vega M. Short-term effects of cervical kinesio taping on pain and cervical range of motion in patients with acute whiplash injury: A randomized clinical trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2009;39:515–521.
- Kase K, Wallis J, Kase T. Clinical Therapeutic Applications of the Kinesio Taping Method. Tokyo, Japan: Ken Akai Co. Ltd; 2003.
- Thelen MD, Dauber JA, Stoneman PD. The clinical efficacy of kinesio tape for shoulder pain: A randomized, double-blinded, clinical trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2008;38:389–395.