What is Kinesio Tape?
- Kinesiology taping is a technique originally developed to treat sports injuries; more recently it has been used to treat lymphoedema
- Kinesio Tape is a specialised form of adhesive tape made up of 100% cotton that has elastic properties
- It is latex-free and has a medical adhesive backing that is safe to use on most people
- The tape is heat sensitive so rubbing the tape gently after application will allow it to adhere more securely
- The wave of adhesive on the tape, when applied correctly, helps lift the skin and encourages lymphatic drainage
How does it work?
- Kinesio Tape has been designed to mimic the qualities of the skin
- It only stretches one way (lengthways) for application
- The tape has a direct effect on the superficial lymphatic vessels just beneath the skin; thus allowing the lymph fluid to drain more freely
- The tape can alos be applied over certain muscles to help drainage of lymphatic fluid
- The tape encourages congested fluid to move away towards healthy drainage pathways
- It can be used to breakdown fibrotic areas and scarring
Who can benefit from Kinesio Tape?
- Anyone with lymphoedema may benefit from Kinesio Taping
- It is useful over swelling where it is difficult to apply compression
- Your lymphoedema practitioner will decide if it is appropriate you to have Kinesio Taping as part of your treatment
How is the tape applied?
- The tape is applied by a trained lymphoedema practitioner directly onto clean dry skin that is free from any creams
- Your lymphoedema practitioner will decide where the tape should be applied and how to ensure effectiveness
- The tape is cut to the correct length, shapes and size
- The technique used by your therapist will depend on each individual patients’ lymphoedema
- You may be shown how to apply the Kinesio Tape yourself
Who can apply the tape?
- Kinesio Tape should only be applied by a healthcare professional or lymphoedema practitioner that has been fully trained to use the technique
- However, you, your partner or carer can be shown how to apply the tape once a qualified therapist has shown you and is happy that you are capable
How long can I keep it on for?
- Your lymphoedema practitioner will tell you when your should remove the tape
- Ideally it should stay on for up to 5 days
- The tape may start to come away prior to this and re-application may be necessary before the 5 days
- When removing the tape always do so from the direction of the hair growth (usually from the top, down)
- It may be easier to remove after your bath or shower
- Always clean the skin thoroughly once removed to prevent any build-up of adhesive
- Remove the tape immediately if there is ever any sign of infection (cellulitis) or irritation, e.g. redness, discomfort, pain or itching