KT Tape: Addressing Symptoms vs. Systems for Pain Relief and Support

KT Tape: Addressing Symptoms vs. Systems for Pain Relief and Support


KT Tape, also known as Kinesiology tape, is a flexible and stretchy tape commonly used to support muscles and joints while providing pain relief. Many athletes, both professional and recreational, use this tape for injury prevention, rehabilitation, and improved performance during sports activities like running, soccer, basketball, tennis, and football. It is also utilized in various professional fields such as physical therapy, rehabilitation, chiropractic care, and military and law enforcement settings.

The question often arises, "What does KT Tape do? How does KT Tape work?" While the scientific evidence on its effectiveness is limited and mixed, KT Tape is believed to temporarily alleviate discomfort and offer support. However, it is essential to understand that KT Tape mainly addresses symptoms and does not independently "fix" structural or movement imbalances or "heal" injuries.

If you seek lasting relief from chronic injuries and pain, it is advisable to explore long-term solutions rather than relying solely on this stretchy tape. We will delve further into this topic later in the article.


How does KT Tape work? 

KT Tape is believed to work by lifting the skin slightly, potentially improving blood flow, lymphatic drainage, reducing swelling, and alleviating pain as well as providing additional support to muscles and joints.

While KT Tape offers some pain relief and support during activities, its effects are primarily symptomatic and short-term. The application of KT Tape may help individuals feel more confident and supported during their physical activities.

KT Tape

In 2017 (1), a study looked at two treatments for tennis elbow in patients getting better. They had 45 men around 48 years old in the study. The treatments were Kinesio Taping and Electro Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), along with regular physiotherapy. All patients got physiotherapy five times a week for 15 sessions and did exercises at home. Group 2 got Kinesio Taping five days a week for three weeks, and Group 3 got ESWT three times a week for three weeks.Before and after the treatments, they measured pain, grip strength, muscle performance, and how well they could do things.The study found that Kinesio Taping helped reduce pain, improve grip strength, and make things easier for patients with tennis elbow.

In my experience, I have observed KT Tapes ability to alleviate some discomfort by targeting specific areas of pain. However, it's important to note that while KT Tape can be helpful for short-term pain relief and providing minor support for sprains and strains. This can lead to a false sense of biomechanical improvement, further increasing the probability of further injury. It is essential to seek professional advice for long-term solutions and proper treatment of injuries. Structural imbalances, typically caused by misalignment or erroneous movement (pattern overload) in the musculoskeletal system, require a comprehensive system that integrates multiple muscle groups to address myofascial connectivity, such as Functional Patterns. 


Addressing Systems Vs. Symptoms:

KT Tape

Functional Patterns, developed by Naudi Aguilar, is a comprehensive system that focuses on optimizing human movement patterns by addressing imbalances and dysfunctions in the body. Functional Patterns considers the entire body as a whole system and focuses on integrating the functional relationships between muscle groups and systems."

Addressing not only the symptoms but also the underlying causes of movement dysfunctions and imbalances, Functional Patterns aims for long-term results while optimizing movement patterns and overall function. 

To better understand this, consider how car body shops use touch-up paint and temporary body filler to hide and protect scratches and dents on a car's exterior. In a similar way, KT Tape can provide a temporary layer of support and pain relief for minor muscular strains or discomforts. Nevertheless, it is crucial to recognize that KT Tape is a supplementary tool rather than a comprehensive solution for underlying issues.

The return on investment (ROI) may vary depending on individual commitment, adherence to the program, and the severity of existing imbalances or dysfunctions. Individuals who invest in Functional Patterns, experience improvements in their daily lives, overall fitness, emotional well being and athletic performance. The ROI for Functional Patterns can be seen in terms of long-term benefits such as improved movement quality, enhanced posture, reduced risk of injuries, and increased functional capacity.  

If you are seeking a high-quality return on investment that offers long-lasting results and longevity, the FP 10 Week Online Course is an excellent starting point.


Benefits of applying Functional Patterns include:

  • Improved Posture and Alignment
  • Injury Prevention and Rehabilitation
  • Enhanced Movement Efficiency
  • Increased Flexibility and Mobility
  • Enhanced Strength and Power
  • Improved Sports and Work Performance
  • Heightened Body Awareness and Proprioception
  • Improved Energy and Mental Clarity
  • Better Ability to Handle Daily Stressors


Another option is to visit the Practitioners page and locate an experienced practitioner near you. 



In summary, Kinesio Tape provides temporary symptomatic relief and support, while Functional Patterns offers a comprehensive system for long-term improvement. We encourage individuals to understand short term vs. long term effects. While Kinesiology Tape can provide temporary benefits, its effects are limited to the immediate term. In contrast, Functional Patterns focuses on sustained improvements for the long term.




  1. Tarik Özmen, Salih Süha Koparal, Özlem Karataş, Filiz Eser, Bülent Özkurt, Tuba Ümit Gafuroğlu  “Comparison of the clinical and sonographic effects of ultrasound therapy, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, and Kinesio taping in lateral epicondylitis” PubMed, 2017 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32682361


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