Kinesio Tape vs Rigid Tape – What’s the difference?


Strapping with adhesive tape is important for the prevention of joint injuries, especially the ankle and hand. Taping is also essential during early management of injury and rehabilitation. Research has shown that recurrence of injury when the athlete recommences training is less likely with supportive taping.

A variety of sports use taping to prevent injury. Adhesive tape is often used to help athletes recover from ligament sprains or to help prevent further injury by limiting unwanted movement at a joint or offloading specific anatomical structures where a weakness has been identified.

Taping with rigid (flesh coloured) tape has been used for decades by chiropractors, physiotherapists and sports trainers alike to stabilise a joint and prevent excessive movement, for example supporting the ankle after an inversion sprain (rolled ankle).  The main advantage of this kind of taping is that there is no stretch in rigid tape making it perfect where firm or extreme support is required.

In the 1970’s a Japanese Chiropractor developed a new kind of tape he called Kinesio Tape, which is made up of cotton fibers with polymer elastic strands woven throughout. This is very different to traditional rigid tape and is quite stretchy and pliable. As the tape is stretched and applied to the skin, it bunches the top layer of skin and lifts it away from the muscle, creating a small gap between skin and muscle, allowing for smooth muscle movement and allowing for increased blood flow and lymphatic drainage, decreasing pain as well.

Do the different colours make a difference?

In short, no the tape comes in a wide variety of colours and are purely for a patient’s or athlete’s prefence.

How do I know if I should use rigid or Kinesio tape?

The practitioners at Spinal and Sports Care are trained in all forms of taping and can help advise you on which is right for you. Simply ask during your next appointment or contact us via the following link