How to Cut and Apply a Fan Strip of Kinesiology Tape

fan cut kinesio tapeWhat is a Fan Strip?

A fan strip, or edema strip, is a length of kinesiology tape that is solid at one end with 3-4 longitudnal cuts to create 4-6 narrow strips, or tails. Some kinesiology tape comes pre-cut in fan strips, or you can easily create your own fan using a solid roll of kinesiology tape, such as RockTape or StrengthTape

Why Use  Fan Strips?

Fan strips are a safe, comfortable way to reduce swelling and bruising by increasing lymphatic drainage. The fan creates an area of decreased pressure under the tape allowing lymphatic fluid to drain away through nearby lymph ducts. In some applications, more than one fan strip is used with the tails overlapping from different directions, or for wider areas two fan strips placed side by side.

fan cut kneeHow to Cut a Fan Strip

Place the area to be taped in a position of maximal stretch to measure the length of tape required to cover the area.  Cut a length of kinesiology tape the same length as the area to be covered.  If you are taping a wide area you may need to cut two strips of kinesiology tape. Next, create the tails by making the desired number of lengthwise cuts beginning at one end of the tape and finishing approximately 1” from the other end.  Each of the tails should be about ¼” wide.  To prevent curling and fraying, round the corners of all cut edges.

apply edema kinesio tapeHow to Apply a Fan Strip

Before applying the fan strip make sure the area is clean and dry (See 10 Tips for Getting Kinesiology Tape to Stick). Remove the backing from the base of the tape place it slightly above the area of swelling.  Apply the base with no stretch in the tape. Next move the area you are taping into a stretched position to apply the strips, or tails, of the tape.  To create additional stretch, pull the skin into a stretched position as the strips are applied. Peel the backing from one of the outer strips, applying it with no stretch along the outer edge of the edema or swelling.  Apply the next strip parallel to the outer strip leaving a small amount of space between the two strips. Make sure the strips are not touching each other. Once the first half of the taping is completed, repeat the process with the other half, laying the tape along the opposite border of the swollen area. Rub the entire area briskly to activate the adhesive. Be sure to rub from the center toward the ends so you don’t catch an end and pull up the tape. The makers of RockTape put together a great video demonstration of how to cut and apply fan strips. Check it out below:

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How to Cut and Apply a Fan Strip of Kinesiology Tape

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