UPDATED REVIEW! KT Tape is a specially developed high performance elastic athletic tape used to treat muscle and joint injuries. This particular brand of kinesiology tape comes in precut strips.
KT Tape is manufactured and developed by Lumos Inc., which is based in Utah and designs products for the sports med and fitness industry. KT Tape is officially endorsed by Kerri Walsh, the two-time Olympic Beach Volley Ball Gold Medalist.
How KT Tape Works. The Magic Tape
KT Tape provides relief from muscle pain, prevents muscle injury provides functional support, reduces swelling and enhances recovery for athletes of all levels. Once applied, the tape lasts 3-5 days. You can shower with it, run with it, swim with it.
How does it work?
Kinesiology Taping is intended to alleviate pain and facilitate lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. The taped portion forms convolutions in the skin, increasing interstitial space (tissue space).
The result is that pressure and irritation are taken off the neural and sensory receptors, alleviating pain. Pressure is gradually taken off the lymphatic system, allowing it to channel more freely.
It can be difficult to grasp the concept around which this works. But it does. When it doesn't work, it's due to poor application technique, injury that is beyond the scope of what kinesiology tape can accomplish (ie. it won't fix a torn muscle), incorrect diagnosis and thus the wrong application.
Application of KT Tape is Key to its Effectiveness for your injury
For the best results, Kinesio Athletic Tape should be applied at least 30 minutes prior to exercise so the heat activated adhesive can adjust and bond with the skin temperature. The correct application means stretching it in the right places while applying depending on your injury or preventive goal. The kinesiology tape has 140% elasticity which matches that of human skin.
Does KT tape tape offer support?
KT Tape does offer the kind of physical support that will prevent your ankle from turning over but it does provide functional support. You'd use an ankle brace or tape with a sports tape such as coach tape for that type of support which limits your ROM or range of motion. Since it has as much stretch as your skin, it can move with you while providing functional support.
The Kinesiology Taping Method means taping over and around muscles to assist and give the kind of support that prevents over-contraction and allows full range of motion. This is different from the kind of support for which you'd use an athletic tape such as coach tape which is intended to limit range of motion. There has been a lot of confusion over the definition of support.
KT Tape features easy-to-use, precut 5", 10" and 18" strips. Uncut, edema precut also available
KT Tape is packaged in easy-to-use, pre-cut strips. Each strip is 10 inches. The width is 2 inches wide but easily splits the width to 1-inch strips to make the “Y” strip for applications such as tennis elbow, knee and shoulder applications.
The machine cut ends and strong adhesive make the tape more water resistant as well as more user friendly.
The advantage of this tape if you get pre cut rolls is that you don’t have to have scissors, which makes things easier. But like all kinesiology tape, you do need to know how to apply it correctly for it to work best. Each package comes with instructions on some basic applications because application technique is important to its effectiveness.
What's available in KT Tape now
Now continuous rolls are available that are not pre cut if you want to use that. Team colors, lymphatic pre cut tape and pro length for medical professionals is now available in addition to the pre cut tape.
A book, or the help of a qualified physical therapist who can teach you to apply it would not hurt. KT tape makes the most and the best videos for the consumer. Step by step hand holding instructions and where to stretch and where not to stretch are included on both this site and theirs.
Which Kinesiology tape is best?
Kinesio Tex, SpiderTech and KT Tape all work.
Kinesiology Tape will fray at the edges if you cut it with regular scissors. So use kinesio pro scissors or very sharp scissors such as those used for surgery or sewing when you are not using the pre cut tape. Durability is seems a little behind spidertech and KT Tape lately. But it could be due to our getting the old inventory.
KT Tape does come with instructions on some basic injuries in the package and video support on the internet is good. It’s glue is strong enough so an application lasts up to 4 days and most users report that it will make it through a hot tub soak. Make sure you activate the glue by rubbing it with the opposite site of the backing to warm it. This makes a huge difference. It is an easy application for plantar fasciitis as you do not have to fork tape it. Educational videos for KT tape are excellent.
If you want a roll to throw in your sports bag, then a roll of KT Tape is ideal. If you know what you suffer from and want to have that particular application in your bag for fast applying, the SpiderTech tape would be the one to have.
If stickiness is an issue, most athletic trainers suggest a pre tape spray called Cramer Tuf Skin. However, some have found they have an allergic reaction so test this on your skin on a small patch first!
See KT Tape on Facebook.
KT Tape has the following products for both the consumer market and clinical practitioners:
Precut Strips multiple colors 20'
Pro 10" precut strips in 125' bulk roll
KT Tape PRO 10" Precut Strips - 20 Ft Single Rolls
KT Tape Pro Classic Uncut - 125' Bulk Rolls
Twenty foot sing rolls uncut
KT Tape Pro 18" Precut Strips 125' Bulk Rolls
KT Tape 10" Precut
Strips - 16' Single Rolls
KT Tape Pro 18" Precut Strips: 10-Strip Sampler (theratape.com)
KT Tape Pro 5" Precut Strips - 30-Strip Sampler (theratape.com)
KT Tape Pro Precut Edema Strips: 10-Strip Sampler (theratape.com)
KT Tape Pro Precut Strips Super Sampler
KT Tape Team Colors