KTaping,application, uses and diagnosis

What is KTaping?

The term »taping« invariably raises the question of what is different about K-Taping compared to the well-known classic taping with non-elastic material. Apart from a few application techniques, there is no comparison. Generally speaking, classic tape is used to stabilize or immobilize joints. The application techniques using elastic stretch.

K Tapping


K-Taping cannot be carried out with classic tape. K-Tapes follow the path of a muscle or nerve, can be freely applied to any part of the body, and do not limit the patient’s freedom of movement . Lymphatic applications, which improve the lymph and blood circulation, are also included in the K-Tape application options. Whereas classic taping is predominantly used for immobilizing or stabilizing joints, K-Taping is a wide-ranging treatment method with the potential for further development. A comparison can therefore only be made when the same indications are to be treated, e.g., joint problems, injuries to, or pain in the joints, and postoperative therapy. Compared with classic taping, where a joint problem, for example, would be immobilized, the joint would remain mobile with elastic stretch K-Tape. Beyond this comparison, K-Taping offers a multitude of treatment options. There are also useful combinations of both taping techniques (e.g., in sport). Whether in general or competitive sport, application of the colorful K-Taping treatment strips, in addition to classic taping, is already standard procedure. The many positive properties of K-Taping treatment known today were not, however, the primary focus of its development. Initially, attempts were made to influence proprioception and consequently muscle function using elastic tape that did not restrict the patien t’s movement. Hence the name K-Taping therapy, which derives from the Greek word kinesis = movement.


So far, there are no known side-effects of K-Taping. However, K-Taping applications should not be used with the

following contraindications :

·         open wounds

·         scars which have not yet healed

·         parchment-like skin, e.g., in acute episodes of neurodermatitis or psoriasis

·         sacral connective tissue massage zone (genital zone) in the first trimester of pregnancy known allergies to acrylic

Prior to all applications, the therapist should first ask whether the patient is taking anticoagulants. Small hemorrhages may occur in the skin as a reaction to the lifting effect of the K-Taping application. Experience has shown that cardiac patients taking anticoagulants occasionally react to K-Taping with itching or skin eruptions. The reason for this reaction is not known. The backing tape is sprayed with silicon to facilitate removal of the cotton tape from the backing. Even though this is minimal, silicon residue may stick to the adhesive. Silicon is generally used to make the tape kinder to the skin. Nevertheless, there are patients who react to silicon with slight reddening of the skin.

Color Theory

The original K- Tape is used in the four colors: cyan, magenta, beige, and black.

There is no difference in the structure and properties of the tapes. They have identical stretching capacities. The colors have been chosen to support the treatment based on color theory. It should be mentioned at this point, however, that first and foremost the application technique is the critical factor and that color has been adopted as an additional positive aspect.

The color red is regarded as activating and stimulating, whereas the color blue is calming. Black and beige are classed as neutral. The effect of color upon entering a room is well-known. If the walls are painted blue, this evokes different perceptions from a room with red walls. This holds true for KTape applications.

If the therapist affixes red tape to hypertonic musculature, or to a structure already inflamed, most of the patients will react with further stimulation and discomfort. In contrast, the color blue has a calming effect. The therapist should take note of this effect.

K-Tape applications are thus carried out so that red tape is used to stimulate weak, energy-deficient structures and for muscle applications intended to increase tonus. Blue tape is used to calm high-energy structures and to lower muscle tonus. In some cases, the patient’s vanity may decide, where the application needs to be unobtrusive. Particularly for lymph applications, which are affixed to large areas of skin, beige is used in most cases. As with the placebo effect, therapists should not ignore the effect of the color – but should not put this at the forefront of the treatment and mode of action.


As with every method, a detailed diagnosis forms the basis of good K-Taping treatment. Not only the symptoms and localized pain should be treated. Determining the cause is also desirable. Only then is precise targeting of the self-healing process possible. Every therapist and physician acquires a series of testing and diagnostic methods to help with this. By a process of elimination, information can be obtained about connections in disrupted processes, allowing conclusions to be drawn about the cause, which then point the way to subsequent therapy.


Birgit Kumbrink

K-Taping An Illustrated Guide

– Basics

– Techniques

– Indications

2nd edition


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