Lymphedema People Logo



My Opinion 

Kinesio Taping (R) has swept around the world as a new and exciting treatment option for many conditions, including lymphedema.  Differents types of taping has long been used and proven effective in the treatment of various sports injuries.

The concept behind this claims that by lifting the skin and by the stretching of the tape during body movements, lymphatic flow is improved.  I have even read posts  where lymphedema patients claim it has helped.

Originally, I must admit to having doubts about the effectiveness of Kinesio Taping. Since I first posted this well over a year ago, we have had many patients in our various support groups try it with their therapist.  Ages range from small children to adults in their fifties.  I have been turned around in my thinking and from what everyone has reported, I would have to give this a thumbs up.  

Manual lymph drainage (MLD) has been proven very effective because it is a massage therapy that gently applies pressure to move fluids out of swollen limbs to where the remaining lymphatics can remove it.  It seems kinesio taping in conjunction with MLD can produce good results.

My concern is in possible skin damage to lymphedema patients by the application of the adhesive and glues that hold these tapes in place.  From late stage one thru stage three, the skin of a lymphedema patient becomes more delicate, prone to damage,cracking and opening up with draining wounds.  This is serious as skin damage leads to infections, skin grafts and further lymphatic destruction. So work with your therapist and determine if it would be safe on your individual skin.

The only clinical study I found regarding Kinesio Taping (R)  was in relation to sports injury and in it they found no differance in  the healing of an ankle injury between the taped and nontaped groups.  This study was conducted by people who were initially excited and supportive of this taping procedure.

Originally published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine the study  is available on the link below (1)


Pat O'Connor

Dec. 26, 2011

Since this page was originally written, Kinesio Taping has continued to receive top reviews from patients and therapists alike.  Further more, the number of studies showing its possibe use with other medical conditions has skyrocketed.


What is Kinesio(R)  Taping?

Kinesio tape has an elastic quality that differs from athletic tape. It allows free movement without restriction while providing support and reducing muscle fatigue. It is helpful in reducing pain and edema through the stretching of muscle and soft tissue as well as improved lymphatic flow.

Four Major Functions of Kinesio Tape:

  • Relieves pain
  • Corrects muscle function through reduction of muscle tension and strengthening of the weakened muscle
  • Improves circulation and lymphatic flow while reducing inflammation
  • Corrects misalignment of joints

Kinesio tape can be placed on any part of the body and therapists at Excel Rehab have had success in treating patients with the following diagnoses:

  • Headache
  • Neck Pain and Stiffness
  • Shoulder Pain, Frozen Shoulder, or Dislocation
  • Aching in the Upper Arm
  • Medial or Lateral Epicondylitis
  • Wrist Pain and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Backache or Spasms (including Scoliosis)
  • Sciatica
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Foot Pain and Achilles Tendonitis
  • Lymphedema of the Upper or Lower Extremities
  • Muscle Strains






Kinesio Tape ® and Taping
Questions and Answers

1. Where did the word "Kinesio" come from?

The name comes from the science of Kinesiology, because the taping method and tape allows the body and muscles to move while it assists in rehabilitation.

2. What does Kinesio Taping® and tape do?

Kinesio Taping® Method is applied over muscles to reduce pain & inflammation, relax overused tired muscles, and to support muscles in movement on a 24hr/day basis. It is not a restrictive type of taping, and allows for full range of motion. In contrast, traditional sports' taping is wrapped around a joint strictly for stabilization and support during a sporting event. Kinesio® tape is used for a wide range of problems. Examples include: carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back strain/pain, subluxations, herniated disc, knee conditions, shoulder conditions,sports injuries, etc.

3. Why is Kinesio® Tape so much more accepted than other tapes?

It has a number of benefits that are not achievable with other tapes. It has One Hundred Percent High Grade Cotton - for comfort and breathing, One Hundred and Forty Per Cent Elastic - same flexibility as human skin and muscles, Heat Activated Adhesive - although very light, mild and hypo-allergenic Latex Free, Air Circulation Waves - to channel out sweat and water and enhance skin breathing, Durable - average usage 3-4 days per application, More Economical - usually 6-7 applications per roll of tape.

4. Is it the tape or the technique that gives such great results?

Without a doubt, the technique is the most unique, however, the full benefits were not possible until Kinesio® tape was developed. The taping method requires a tape that is patient and skin friendly, possesses optimum elastic qualities, the same thickness as the skin, and is durable enough to stay on multiple days even through persperaton, sweat and showers.

5. How is the tape applied?

Without getting too technical, the tape is applied over the affected area with the muscles in a stretched position. Then the tape is applied from one end of the muscle to the other with very little stretch of the tape. The tape is applied from the ORIGIN to INSERTION of the muscle for SUPPORT and from INSERTION to ORIGIN for REHAB.

6. What are the concerns or difficulties with Kinesio Taping® (Trouble Shooting)?

A.) Skin needs to be free of oil, sweat, or lotion prior to application

B.) After application rub down tape to activate heat sensitive glue

C.) Avoid extreme stretching of the tape during application to avoid skin irritation

D.) Apply approx. 1 hr prior to activity or shower to allow glue to adhere properly

E.) Skin irritation is extremely rare, but special care should be taken with hypersensitive skin patients.

Alternative Therapy Clinic


The Effects of Kinesio Taping on ankle proprioception (1)


External Links:

This page is an excellent source of information for lymphedema patients:

StepUp SpeakOut


Kinesio Taping in Treatment and Prevention of Sports Injuries: A Meta-Analysis of the Evidence for its Effectiveness. 

Nov 2011


The effects of additional kinesio taping over exercise in the treatment of patellofemoral pain syndrome. 

Sep 2011


Effects of kinesio taping in a physical therapist with acute low back pain due to patient handling: a case report. 

Sep 2011


Effect of the Kinesio tape to muscle activity and vertical jump performance in healthy inactive people. 

Aug 2011


Effect of kinesio taping on standing balance in subjects with multiple sclerosis: A pilot study\m{1}. 



Kinesio Taping applied to lumbar muscles influences clinical and electromyographic characteristics in chronic low back pain patients. 

Jun 2011


The effects of Kinesio® taping on sitting posture, functional independence and gross motor function in children with cerebral palsy. 



PubMed page with additional links for further information


Kinesio Taping Association Website

What is Kinesio Taping®

The Kinesio Taping® Method has taken the Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine world by storm. This amazing taping method was developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase over 25 years ago in Japan. Kinesio Taping® has quickly become the gold, or should we say "platinum" standard, for therapeutic rehabilitative taping. The proprietary method of taping uses a uniquely designed and patented tape for treatment of muscular disorders and lymphedema reduction.

The Kinesio Taping® Method involves taping over and around muscles in order to assist and give support or to prevent over-contraction. The first technique gives the practitioner the opportunity to actually give support while maintaining full range of motion. This enables the individual to participate in their normal physical activity with functional assistance. The second technique, which is most commonly used in the acute stage of rehabilitation, helps prevent overuse or over-contraction and helps provide facilitation of lymph flow for an entire 24 hour period. Correctional techniques include mechanical, lymphatic, ligament/tendon, fascia, space and functional. Kinesio Tex® Tape can be used in conjunction with other therapies, including cryotherapy, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, and electrical stimulation.


Abstracts and Studies:


Effect of Kinesio Taping on bioelectrical activity of vastus medialis muscle. Preliminary report.

Nov 2007

Index Conpernicus


Effect of Kinesio taping on muscle strength in athletes-a pilot study

April 2008

Elsevier/Science Direct


The effect of kinesio taping on lower trunk range of motions.

Apr-June 2007



Kinesio taping in stroke: improving functional use of the upper extremity in hemiplegia

Summer 2006

Thomas Land


Pilot study: investigating the effects of Kinesio Taping in an acute pediatric rehabilitation setting.

Jan-Feb 2006



Clinical Trial:


Treatment of Lymphedema: Application of the Kinesio Taping

This study is currently recruiting participants.
Verified by National Taiwan University Hospital, August 2004

Sponsored by:

National Taiwan University Hospital

Information provided by:

National Taiwan University Hospital Identifier:


Date First Received: September 8, 2005

Last Updated: January 25, 2006

Brief Summary

Official Title: “Treatment of Lymphedema- Application of the Kinesio Taping”

Condition Keyword(s):



Device: Low Stretch Bandage and Kinesio Tape

There are 2 parts to this study

First part: - Reliability of water displacement, circumference, tonometer. - Effect of taping: lifting effect measured with sonography - Effect of taping: peripheral circulation measured with DRT4

Second part: - Effects of different intervention models including decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT) and modified DLT

Study Type: Interventional

Study Design: Treatment, Randomized, Single Blind, Active Control, Parallel Assignment

Detailed Clinical Trial Description

First part:

To investigate the reliability study of water displacement and circumference measurement and the change in thickness of subcutaneous space measured by sonography and blood flow measured by DRT4 in normal subjects after applying K-tape.

Second part:

The incidence of breast carcinoma is in the second place in women in Taiwan. Lymphedema is a common complication after treatment of breast carcinoma; it will lead not only to cosmetic problems but is also uncomfortable, and causes functional limitation for patients. The common management for lymphedema is decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT) including skin care, manual lymph drainage, remedial exercises and compression therapies. At present, all possible compression therapies for lymphedema have limitations. Patients have poor compliance in using short-stretch bandage and compression garments due to the climate in Taiwan. Applying kinesio tape (K-tape) became a new treatment method in physical therapy; the inventor Dr. Kase claimed that the K-tape can improve circulation and remove congestion. Besides, it demonstrated good therapeutic effects in clinical application. However, there are few studies to show the clinical effects of K-tape. This restricts the further application of K-tape.

Following the previous study, the purpose is to compare the effects among traditional DLT, modified DLT which replaces bandage with K-tape, and DLT combined K-tape in patients with lymphedema.

A randomized control study will be executed. Sixty patients with post-mastectomy lymphedema will be randomly grouped into taping, bandage and mixed groups. Each subject will go through 4 weeks of a control period, 4 weeks of an intervention period, and followed by 3 months of an observation period. The evaluation items include physical therapy assessment, the severity of swelling, such as arm circumference, volume of water displacement, related symptoms, the upper extremity function and quality of life. The evaluation will be executed 4 weeks before the interventions (start of control period), before the intervention (start of intervention period), after a 4 week intervention and 3 months after the intervention to compare the effects among 3 kinds of treatment. Subjects in each group will receive treatments including skin care, manual lymphatic drainage, pneumatic compression therapy and exercise during the intervention period; the taping group’s patients will receive additional K-tape treatment; the mixed group’s patients will receive K-tape combined bandage treatment. Each group will be treated 2 hours/time, 5 times/week; the entire course will take 4 weeks.

Outcome Measures for this Clinical Trial



Criteria for Participation in this Clinical Trial

Exclusion Criteria:

Clinical Trials Locations, Contact Details, and Sponsors

Lead Sponsor: National Taiwan University Hospital

School and Graduate Institute of Physical Therapy College of Medicine, National Taiwan University

Taipei   Taiwan

Overall Clinical Trial Officials and Contacts

Jau-Yih Tsauo, PhD Study Chair NTUH  

Additional Information

Information obtained from on April 22, 2008

Link to the current record.

Study ID Number: 9261701436 Identifier: NCT00155220

Health Authority: Taiwan: Department of Health

Clinical Trials Authorship and Review

Clinical Trials content is provided directly by the U.S. National Institutes of Health via and is not reviewed separately by Every page of specific clinical trials information contains a unique identifier which can be used to find further details directly from the National Institutes of Health.



There are 2 parts to this study.

First part:

  • Reliability of water displacement, circumference, tonometer.

  • Effect of taping: lifting effect measured with sonography

  • Effect of taping: peripheral circulation measured with DRT4

Second part:

  • Effects of different intervention models including decongestive lymphatic therapy (DLT) and modified DLT



Select Kinesiotaping Billing Codes

The following information as quoted comes from the "ChiroCode DeskBook 18th Edition 2010." The Kinesio Taping Association can not guarantee that the use of these codes will result in payment. It is the responsibility of the Practitioner to bill appropriately for services and to check with Medicare or other healthcare insurance companies if there are questions. Reimbursement results will vary with regards to the state the practitioner is in and the insurance companies dealt with.

For more information, please visit
CPT Reimbursement Options for the Kinesio Taping Method 
2010 Top Suggested Billing Code:

97112 - Neuro-Muscular Re-Education (this code can apply to any taping option)
Neuro-Muscular Re-Education of movement, balance, coordination, kinesthetic sense, posture, and/or proprioception for sitting and/or standing activities, 1 or more areas, each 15 minutes.
RVU 2010 CodeBook: ncci .83
RVU data includes: work time, 18 min. / supplies, $1.75

Other Therapeutic Procedure codes that may be appropriate:

97110 - Therapeutic Procedure/Exercise one or more areas
RVU 2010 CodeBook: ncci .79
RVU data includes: work time, 18 min. / supplies, $1.75

97116 - Gait Training
RVU 2010 CodeBook:
 ncci .70
RVU data includes: work time, 15 min. / supplies, $1.18

97139 - Unlisted Therapeutic Procedure
RVU 2010 CodeBook:
 ncci .42

97140 - Manual Therapy Techniques
RVU 2010 CodeBook:
 ncci .74
RVU data includes: work time, 15 min. / supplies, $1.30

97533 - Sensory Integrative Techniques to enhance sensor processing and promote adaptive responses to environmental demands
RVU 2010 CodeBook:
 ncci .74
RVU data includes: work time, 23 min. / supplies, $2.18

97799 - Unlisted Physical Medicine/Rehabilitation service or procedure
RVU 2010 CodeBook:
 ncci .NE

For additional codes, see:


Index of articles for  Lymphedema Treatment :


Lymphedema Treatment


Acupuncture Treatment

Aqua Therapy for Postsurgical Breast Cancer Arm Lymphedema

Aqua Therapy in Managing Lower Extremity Lymphedema

Artificial Lymph Nodes

Artificial Lymphatic System

Auricular Therapy

Ball Massage technique

Compression Bandages for Lymphedema

Benzopyrones Treatment

Chi Machine

Choosing a Rehabilitation Provider or Physical Therapist

Complex Decongestive Therapy

Complications of Lymphedema Debulking Surgery

Compression Garments Stockings for Lymphedema

Compression Pumps for Lymphedema Treatment

Coumarin powder/ointment

Craniosacral Therapy

Daflon 500 and Secondary Lymphedema

Deep Oscillation Therapy

Diaphragmatic Breathing

Diuretics are not for lymphedema

Endermologie Therapy

Essential Oils

Elastin Ampules

Farrow Wrap

Flexitouch Device - Initial Observations

Flexitouch Device for Arm Lymphedema


How to Choose a Lymphedema Therapist

How to be Safe with Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Infrared Therapy for Lymphedema

Kinesio Taping (R)

Kinesiology Therapy

Laser Treatment

Laser Treatment - Sara's Experience

Light Beam Generator Therapy

Liposuction Treatment

Low Level Laser

Lymph Node Transplant

Lymphatic venous anastomoses

Lymphedema Treatment Programs Canada

Lymphedema Sleeves

Lymphedema Surgeries

Lymphedema Treatments are Poorly Utilized


Lymphocyte injection therapy


Magnetic Therapy

Manual Lymphatic Drainage



Naturopathy: A Critical Appraisal

Patient self-massage for breast cancer-related lymphedema

Reflexology Therapy

Self Massage Therapy – Self MLD

Short Stretch Bandages


Wholistic Treatment

Treatment Information for Lymphedema Forum

Why Compression Pumps cause Complications with Lymphedema


Join us as we work for lymphedema patients everywehere:

Advocates for Lymphedema

Dedicated to be an advocacy group for lymphedema patients. Working towards education, legal reform, changing insurance practices, promoting research, reaching for a cure.


Pat O'Connor

Lymphedema People / Advocates for Lymphedema


For information about Lymphedema\

For Information about Lymphedema Complications

For Lymphedema Personal Stories

For information about How to Treat a Lymphedema Wound

For information about Lymphedema Treatment

For information about Exercises for Lymphedema

For information on Infections Associated with Lymphedema

For information on Lymphedema in Children

Lymphedema Glossary


Lymphedema People - Support Groups


Children with Lymphedema

The time has come for families, parents, caregivers to have a support group of their own. Support group for parents, families and caregivers of chilren with lymphedema. Sharing information on coping, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. Sponsored by Lymphedema People.



Lipedema Lipodema Lipoedema

No matter how you spell it, this is another very little understood and totally frustrating conditions out there. This will be a support group for those suffering with lipedema/lipodema. A place for information, sharing experiences, exploring treatment options and coping.

Come join, be a part of the family!




If you are a man with lymphedema; a man with a loved one with lymphedema who you are trying to help and understand come join us and discover what it is to be the master instead of the sufferer of lymphedema.



All About Lymphangiectasia

Support group for parents, patients, children who suffer from all forms of lymphangiectasia. This condition is caused by dilation of the lymphatics. It can affect the intestinal tract, lungs and other critical body areas.



Lymphatic Disorders Support Group @ Yahoo Groups

While we have a number of support groups for lymphedema... there is nothing out there for other lymphatic disorders. Because we have one of the most comprehensive information sites on all lymphatic disorders, I thought perhaps, it is time that one be offered.


Information and support for rare and unusual disorders affecting the lymph system. Includes lymphangiomas, lymphatic malformations, telangiectasia, hennekam's syndrome, distichiasis, Figueroa
syndrome, ptosis syndrome, plus many more. Extensive database of information available through sister site Lymphedema People.



Lymphedema People New Wiki Pages

Have you seen our new “Wiki” pages yet?  Listed below are just a sample of the more than 140 pages now listed in our Wiki section. We are also working on hundred more.  Come and take a stroll! 

Lymphedema Glossary 


Arm Lymphedema 

Leg Lymphedema 

Acute Lymphedema 

The Lymphedema Diet 

Exercises for Lymphedema 

Diuretics are not for Lymphedema 

Lymphedema People Online Support Groups 



Lymphedema and Pain Management 

Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) and Complex Decongestive Therapy (CDT) 

Infections Associated with Lymphedema 

How to Treat a Lymphedema Wound 

Fungal Infections Associated with Lymphedema 

Lymphedema in Children 


Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Extraperitoneal para-aortic lymph node dissection (EPLND) 

Axillary node biopsy

Sentinel Node Biopsy

 Small Needle Biopsy - Fine Needle Aspiration 

Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Lymphedema Gene FOXC2

 Lymphedema Gene VEGFC

 Lymphedema Gene SOX18

 Lymphedema and Pregnancy

Home page: Lymphedema People

Page Updated: Dec. 26, 2011