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Applying Kinesio Tape: How much stretch is too much stretch?
Last Updated: 04/15/2014
Kinesio Tape is a very resilient tape however it does not have to be stretched to the max in order to be effective. In fact, over-stretching the tape can lead to other problems that you may not expect such as skin irritation and even blistering. Over-stretching Kinesio Tape will actually degrade the tape's "adhesiveness" which may cause it to prematurely release from the skin within hours or even minutes of applying. When in doubt about how much stretch is enough stretch, here is a general rule of thumb that was suggested to me by Karen Danish, PT, CKTI:

When applying Kinesio Tape, stretch it about 110%.

Okay, so exactly how much is 110%? It's about the amount of stretch as though the paper backing were still adhered to the tape. You'll notice that when you peel the paper backing off, the tape will recoil. Therefore, after the backing is removed, you want to stretch the tape back to its "paper-on" length as you apply the Kinesio Tape to the skin. For people wondering whether Kinesio Tape will work for their injury or condition, it is always best to consult with a licensed clinician who is a certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP). CKTP's have received thorough training on the Kinesio Taping Method and know how to properly apply (and instruct their patients how to apply) Kinesio Tape.

-Anthony Engel

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