Are YOU using Kinesiotape Correctly? Part 1: Learning what should (and should NOT) be Kinesiotaped.


Injured and wondering if applying kinesiotape is right for you? This post is the first in a series of How-To articles about Kinesiotape and its application vs. Climbers tape. Kinesiotape can be difficult to apply (and to keep on!!) which will be our second posting of teh kinesiotape series. Check back in next week to learn more about this body-training, useful product that acts like a physiotherapist while you train for climbing.

Read Dr. Lisa's guidance below on the common mistakes with kinesiotape. First, let's hit the uses for Kinesiotape that you should NOT be envisioning:

Mistake #1: Expecting Stability Control

An image of kinesiotape (to help with swelling and joint compression) underneath the beginnings of a stability tape job for a ligament injury on the side of the PIP joint.

Kinesiotape is for brain training and swelling control. It is not to be used instead of climbers tape in those who want ligament support or joint stability. Say you damage your ankle or are waiting for that fracture to heal, this is NOT the tape for you. Above: An image of kinesiotape (to help with swelling and joint compression) underneath the beginnings of a stability tape job for a ligament injury on the side of the PIP joint. If we were to use the blue kinesiotape alone, this joint could still shift and twist under the loads of training for climbing.

Injuries that should NOT be Kinesiotaped;

1. Fractures (These usually need real stability, think a boot, a splint, or a rigid support). If you have a fracture, you might use kinesiotape under your splint for swelling control, or along the forearm to teach the muscle loading the fracture to relax and not spasm. These would be great practical applications for your fracture besides using it for a stability. Fractures do best with lack of motion and as much stability control as possible. For fingers, we use a finger splint, in the hand, we also usually use a splint (cock up or cock down splint depending on the injury, etc). The WORST thing we can do for a fracture is to keep moving it, which continuously breaks the delicate tissues created by osteoblasts int eh healing region.

To understand the remodeling of the bony matrix during healing, one might think of a delicate glass being laid down while you are healing. This fragile material turns to bone but is easily destroyed with even the gentlest of pressures. When in question, it's best to rest it out and YES, only one day of walking or climbing on it and you are back at square one.

2. Injuries that are over flexible and need stability. Think a separated ankle, an ankle that dislocates easily, a pulley that has been injured that needs unloaded (this tape helps control swelling and gives light support but is more motor-control training (nerves and proprioception which means teaching the body where it is in space and how the motion occurs in the region. This teaches the body to spasm less, stabilize more, and is a great training tool for teaching stability (vs. forcing it like climbers tape).

3. Injuries that are susceptible to skin irritation. Kinesiotape has glue in it

climber tape application training for climbing injuries photo 1

that helps it to adhere to your skin. With this said, if you have missing skin, inflamed skin, or are susceptible to irritation from glues, you should NOT be using kinesiotapes. I personally have used it to help hold wound edges together while out int he field, and it worked nicely while allowing the wound to seep and be cleaned, however this is not the Gold Standard of medical application (but it might be useful for in the field!)

Now that we know what injuries kinesiotape is best NOT used as the number one support, we can now visit the wonderful uses that kinesiotape was designed for!


climber tape application training for climbing injuries photo 2

Kinesiotape is Great for the following uses:

1. Teaching the area self-stability.

Once an area has been injured, the brain

climber tape application training for climbing injuries photo 3