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What is Kinesiotape?

History of Kinestiotape


Kinesiotape was invented in the 1970's by Dr. Kenzo Kase, a licensed chiropractor and acupuncturist in the US and Japan. He developed the tape, which has a texture and elasticity very close to living human skin, in response to limitations he encountered working with rigid sports taping methods on his own patients.

Kinesio taping has grown in popularity especially after the last Olympic Games. It is often used in athletes to aid in injury recovery and performance optimization. Ever since the last Olympic games, the use of kinesiotapininghas grown in popularity. Many sports and military institutions employ its use for their athletes. 


In the performing arts world, kinesiotaping has also been used in dancers. It can also be used in musicians and vocalists. Proper application of kinesiotaping in musicians and vocalists as a tool in a comprehensive treatment approach can help facilitate recovery, improve patient participation in self-care, and prevent future injuries. 


What can kinesiotape do?

There is mounting evidence of for the use of kinesiotaping in the medical literature. When compared to minimal intervention, Kinesio taping provided superior pain relief and comparable relief compared with other modalities.


When used as a tool in a comprehensive treatment approach to facilitate recovery, improve patient participation in self-care, and prevent future injuries. Kinesio taping has been shown to decrease pain, control edema, improve proprioceptive awareness, prevent injury during fatigue, increase pain free range of motion, facilitate current muscle activation, and inhibit pathologic compensatory muscle activation.

Kinesiotape lifts the skin and the underlying fascia or connective tissue. By changing the fascia environment, we change the way nerves respond to position feedback, thus, influencing proprioception and control. This can also increase blood flow and offload nerves that may be entrapped in the fascia. Below is an ultrasound of the underlying fascia before and after ultrasound. Ultrasound elastography is used to show tissue stiffness. Red is soft and blue is hard. You can see the fascia separate and a softening of the underlying tissue.

▪Lim EC and Tay MG. KT in MSK pain and disability systematic analysis w/ meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med. 2015 Dec;49(24):1558-66

▪Clinical effects of KT: a systematic review. PhysiotherTheory Pract. 2013 May;29(4):259-70.

▪RawewnL et al. Scoping review of use of KT for neck or UE conditions. §J Hand Ther. 2014 Jul-Sep;27(3):235-45


How should kinesiotape be used?

Taping should be used as part of a comprehensive clinical context. As part of a comprehensive treatment plan,


kinesiotape can be used to stabilize a joint like in positioning a knee from going to end range of motion. Other tools that can be used to stabilize body areas are braces. 

Kinestiotape can be used to enhance motor control to help the body relearn correct movement patterns. Another tools that can be used to assist in motor control is DNS also knowns neurodevelopment patterning.


Kinesiotape may also be used to help musicians or athletes relearn complex patterns or sports specific movements. For instance, we may use kinesiotape to cue a violinist not to internally rotate the arm as much during play. We may use tape to help a soccer player maintain neutral spine and use more hip during a soccer kick.  


Lastly, in a comprehensive treatment approach, we may use kinesiotape to help prevent injury during fatigue. All athletes, musicians, performers become fatigued during high performance. Kinesiotape can be used during games, competitions, performance to help maintain posture and to avoid straining/stiffening up in the upper body.


Where do vocalists develop pain?

Singing related pain  predominantly occurs cephalad to the larynx. 66% occurs in the throat, 41% during speech, and 35% on the neck. ​

TMJ taping

The first tape goes along the belly of the digastric and stylohyoid muscles on to the temporal bone. Tape to the area behind the ears. ​

The second strip goes along the deep masseter onto the zygomatic process anterior to the tragus and the third along the superficial masseter at the anterior portion of the zygomatic progress on the cheek bone. 

How can you get more answers?

There is no right or wrong way to use kinesiotape. Skilled kinesiotaping requires intimate knowledge of fascia and human movement. Dr. Wang can work with you to figure things out. Dr. Wang will help you work with your fascia and use motor control exercises to retrain proprioception. Dr. Wang uses kinesiotape as part of comprehensive treatment plan.