Research Abstract

Academy Title:Craighead2017-jphr1.1
Research Article: Kinesiology tape modestly increases skin blood flow regardless of tape application technique.
Background and Purpose: Kinesiology tape (KNT) is commonly used for prevention of injury and as part of rehabilitation to treat muscle and joint pain. KNT is purported to increase local blood flow by reducing local pressure. Whether skin blood flow is increased by KNT is not presently known. Methods: We conducted 2 experiments to elucidate the effects of KNT on skin blood flow as follows: in protocol 1, KNT was applied to the skin at 0%, 25%, 50%, and 100% relative ten- sion, and in protocol 2, KNT was applied to the skin with and without convolutions. Red cell flux, an index of skin blood flow, was measured by laser Doppler flowmetry at each site and at a no-tape control site. Results: For protocol 1: there was an overall effect of tape on cutaneous vascular conduct- ance (CVC: laser Doppler flowmetry/MAP; KNT: 0.12, 95% confidence interval: 0.10, 0.14; control: 0.08, 95% confidence interval: 0.07, 0.10 flux·mmHg 1; P < .01), but no effect of tension (all P > .05). KNT was retained for 3 days after which the patients returned for follow-up testing. CVC remained unchanged after 3 days of KNT appli- cation (P = 0.07). For protocol 2: there was an overall effect of tape on CVC (KNT: 0.30, 95% confidence interval: 0.21, 0.39; control: 0.15 (0.09, 0.21 flux·mmHg 1; P = .03), but there was no difference between KNT applied with or without convolutions (all P > .05). Conclusion: These data suggest that KNT modestly increases microvascular blood flow regardless of tension or presence of convolutions.

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