Ten Tips for Getting Kinesiology Tape to Stick

Kinesiology tape has many benefits - it helps alleviate pain, reduces inflammation and swelling, improves circulation and lymphatic drainage, and provides support without limiting range of motion.   Because it continues to provide therapeutic benefits the entire time it is applied, maximizing the time it is worn will help you get the most from every application. Following these 10 tips should help ensure your kinesiology tape application stays on for 3-5 days, even while showering, swimming, or exercising:

1. Clean the skin prior to application It is essential that skin be free of lotions and even natural oils before the tape is applied. Cleaning the skin with rubbing alcohol, hand sanitizer or a pre-taping spray such as PerformPrep or Rock Sauce immediately before applying the tape is critical.

2. Avoid touching the adhesive before application Because the adhesive is designed for a single use, touching it prior to application will cause the tape to be less sticky. A good technique is to tear the adhesive a couple of inches from the end of the strip, then remove the backing from this short end and apply it first. Gradually remove the backing from the rest of the tape, smoothing it down with your other hand.

3. Make sure all ends are applied directly to skin Kinesiology tape sticks well to skin, but not so well to itself. If strips cross over each other, be sure that every strip ends on skin.

Rub Tape to Activate the Adhesive

4. Activate the adhesive Kinesiology tape is made with an acrylic adhesive that is heat-activated. The easiest way to activate the adhesive is to rub the tape lightly and briskly from the center toward the ends of each strip. This can be done with the bare hands or the backing paper from the tape. Do not rub from the ends toward the center – if you catch an edge and it lifts from the skin, it will not re-adhere.

5. Apply the ends of the tape with no stretch The final 2-3″ of every strip should be applied with no stretch. Stretching the ends of the tape make  it easier for the ends to lift away from the skin, and is also the most common cause of rashes and skin irritation.

6. Round the corners before applying tape Rounding the corners of every strip before applying the tape is very helpful in preventing the edges from lifting prematurely. The quickest way to do this is to fold the tape in half, then cut two corners at once.

7. Give the tape some time to stick Allow at least an hour after applying kinesiology tape before engaging in any activity (exercise, swimming or showering) that will generate moisture under the tape.

8. Don’t apply the tape to moist skin If kinesiology tape is applied too soon after exercising, swimming or showering, the moisture can prevent the adhesive from sticking. Kinesiology tape can withstand heavy perspiration after the adhesive has had time to set and generally lasts about 3-5 days when applied properly.

performprep

9. Use an adhesive spray on areas that are prone to friction Kinesiology tape is seldom wrapped completely around a joint or muscle, which means the ends of the tape are not protected from contact with pads, clothing or bodily contact. In these situations, it is recommended to use an additional adhesive spray on the ends of the tape to prevent them from being lifted. Commercial products include PerformStik by PerformTex or Cramer Tuff Skin. For a quick fix, try spritzing some hair spray under the edges of the tape before applying. 

10. Be mindful of excessive body hair While small amounts of hair should not interfere with the tape, excessive amounts will prevent the tape from adhering directly to the skin. Shaving or clipping the hair close to the skin (1/8”) is recommended for such areas.

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Ten Tips for Getting Kinesiology Tape to Stick

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