Corrective ExerciseMuscular Impairments

Kinesio Tape: Performance Enhancer or Fashion Statement?

Kinesio Taping has increased in popularity over the recent years as a therapeutic method to help improve muscular facilitation and minimize pain during functional movements.  Limited studies as to the effectiveness of Kinesio taping are still debatable; however, ongoing research on this topic is beginning to provide some beneficial feedback.  Hyun, Mcelveen & Lynch (2012) studied 16 varsity women basketball players and 16 non-varsity students and placed them randomly into a test group and a control group to determine if kinesio taping increased scores through the Functional Movement Screening™ system on lower extremity movements.

After being placed into their respective groups, participants of this study were subjected to three tests using the FMS™ system to perform the Hurdle Step, In-Line Lunge, and the Deep Squat and measured for the effectiveness of motion on the scoring scale of 0 to 3.   All test subjects completed the assigned movements to help develop raw data prior to the application of Kinesio tape.   Subjects placed into the test group, had Kinesio tape applied to the Sartorius, Rectus Femoris, Hamstrings, Patella, Tibialis Anterior, and the Peroneus Brevis and like the control group, was instructed to complete the assigned movements again.   Hyun et al (2012), report that the application of Kinesio tape lifts the skin over the desired muscle, increasing fluid through the lymphatic system and decompressing pain receptors.  It is stated that the goal of Kinesio tape is to increase neural influence on the muscle and help change the underlying muscle.

The FMS™ system was developed to help detect asymmetry of motion and movement limitations that accompany functional movements and dysfunctions in the human movement system.  Inability to complete specific functional movements results in compensatory muscle recruitment which increases the possibility of injury and long term human movement dysfunction (Hyun et al, 2012).

Results from the study showed no differences in the performance of the Deep Squat or In-Line Lunge but that both the test group and control group increased the scores on the hurdle step, raising question as to the effectiveness of corrective exercise versus the application of Kinesio tape.  The test group with the application of Kinesio tape, however, increased scores on a greater scale than that of the control group.  These results help provide partial evidence that the application of Kinesio tape on non-weight bearing functional movements, such as the Hurdle Step, might provide a basis for the use of Kinesio Tape.  Conclusion of the test showed that Kinesio tape may provide a benefit to muscles that are engaged in non-weight bearing motions as opposed to functional movements that undergo the pressure of body weight.



Hyun Mo, A., Miller, C., Mcelveen, M., & Lynch, J. (2012). The Effect of Kinesio Tape® on Lower Extremity Functional Movement Screen™ Scores. International Journal Of Exercise Science5(3), 196-204.

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