Reduction of Swelling & Bruising with KT Tape

There is an interesting KT taping technique used by healthcare and training professionals to remove bruises quickly. It has been clinically observed that with a specific application of kinesiology tape swelling (edema) and bruising (ecchymosis) can be dramatically reduced. How this occurs was originally proposed in research literature as the tape creating subcutaneous areas of decreased pressure, directing exudates to the nearest lymph collector. However, while researching the functional anatomy of the lymphatic system during my own doctoral literature review project, I proposed another mechanism of lymphatic uptake enhancement. The elimination of bruising with kinesiology edema taping technique was likely due to the increased action of the platelet endothelial call adhesion molecule-1 (PECAM-1) protein filament. How much lymphatic uptake occurs is largely dependent on how the tape is applied. Simply put, the larger the convolutions the tape produces, the better the effect. This is achieved when kinesiology tape is applied with 0% stretch or tension over skin that is on a tolerable stretch. For further details, the process is described in simple terms in an article on my clinic's website. Christopher Harper, PT, DPT, OCS