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How to tape different areas of the body

How to tape different areas of the body

Depending on what type of activity or sport you engage in, being prone to and getting injuries is an inevitable part of an active lifestyle. With this, most folks may turn to drugs to alleviate some of the soreness and pain that they’re experiencing.

In more recent years, however, kinesiology taping has gained popularity among professional athletes to help with pain alleviation as well as getting support for certain areas of the body. Here is a step-by-step taping guide for different areas of the body.

Lower limb pain

 1.Groin

1.1. In a standing position with your patient’s heel pushed firmly into the ground, measure your first security strip running from the groin towards the knee. Measure your second security strip running from the inside of the groin towards the knee.
1.2. Round your tape ends.
1.3. Apply your first security strip with 0% tension.
1.4. Apply your second security strip forming an X pattern on the inside of the leg with 0% tension.
1.5. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive. 

    2. Quadricep

    2.1. Start your patient in a standing position with the heel placed firmly into the ground with weight shifted forward.
    2.2. Measure your first security strip from the outside of the quadricep towards the inside of the knees and your second security strip from the inside of the quadricep towards the outside of the knee.
    2.3. Round your tape ends.
    2.4. Place your first security strip with 0% tension to finish along the inside of the knee.
    2.5. Place your second security strip along the inside of the groin forming an X-pattern to finish along the outside of the knee.
    2.6. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

      How to tape different areas of the body - Hamstring

      3. Hamstring

      3.1. Have your patient in a standing position with the heel pushed firmly into the ground.
      3.2. With the weight shifted backward, measure your first security strips the inside of the hamstring towards the outside of the knee.
      3.3. Measure your second security strip on the outside of the hamstring towards the inside of the knee.
      3.4. Round your tape ends.
      3.5. Place your first security strip running from the inside of the hamstring towards the outside of the knee with 0% tension.
      3.6. Place your second security strip starting at the outside of the hamstring running towards the inside of the knee. Do this with 0% tension. This will form an X pattern on the back of the leg.
      3.7. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

        How to tape different areas of the body - knee

        4. Knee

        4.1. Have your patient in a lying position with a knee flexed and with the foot pushed firmly into the table or floor. 
        4.2. Measure one compression strip of the knee joint below the knee cap.
        4.3. Measure your first security strip on the inside edge of the knee.
        4.4. Measure your second security strip to run along the outside edge of the knee.
        4.5. Round your tape ends.
        4.6. With 50% tension on the tape, apply your compression strip to span the knee joint just below the kneecap.
        4.7. Apply your first security strip running from the inside of the lower leg along the outside edge of the kneecap to frame in the kneecap. This tape should have 0% tension on it.
        4.8. Apply your second security strip running from the outside of the lower leg along the inside edge of the knee, again, framing in a kneecap. This should also have 0% tension.
        4.9. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

           5Calf

          How to tape different areas of the body - calf

          5.1. Have your [atient lie on the table with the foot and the ankle pulled toward the head.
          5.2. Measure your compression strip spanning the area of complaint.
          5.3. Measure a security strip on the underside of the heel to finish on the outside of the calf.
          5.4. Measure a second security strip in the underside of the heel to finish along the inside of the calf.
          5.5. Round your tape ends.
          5.6. With 50% tension on the tape, apply your compression strip to the area of complaint.
          5.7. Apply your first security strip with 0%tension. Have it run from the underside of the heel to cross over to the Achilles tendon and finish along the outside of the calf.
          5.8. Apply your second security strip with 0% tension. Start it along the underside of the heel, across the Achilles tendon to finish along the inside of the calf. The tape should form an X pattern over the Achilles tendon.
          5.9. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

            How to tape different areas of the body - foot

            6. Foot

            6.1. Start with your patient lying on their back with the head and toe pulled towards the head and the toes splayed.
            6.2. Measure the security strip running from the bottom of the big toe towards the heel.
            6.3. Measure a second security strip running from the top of the outside of the foot to finish along the inside of the big toe.
            6.4. Round your tape ends.
            6.5. Apply your first security strip with little to no tension, running from the bottom side of the big toe, to finish along the bottom of the heel.
            6.6. Apply the second security strip, running from the outside top of the foot, to loop around the foot with 0% tension. Have it finished along the inside of the big toe.
            6.7.Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

              How to tape different areas of the body - ankle

              7. Ankle

              7.1. Place the ankle in a neutral position especially if it’s painful.
              7.2. Measure a compression strip from the arch to loop around the Achilles tendon and finish along the top of the foot.
              7.3. Measure a security strip spanning from the top of the foot, to loop around the arch and finish along the outside of the lower leg.
              7.4. Round your tape ends.
              7.5. Apply your compression strip with 50% tension, starting along the inside portion of the arch to loop around the Achilles tendon. Finish along the outside top portion of the foot.
              7.6. Apply your security strip with 0% tension. Start it along the top outside portion of the foot and have it looped underneath the arch. Make sure the tape finishes along the outside portion of the lower leg.
              7.7. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                Spine pain

                How to tape different areas of the body - lower back

                 1. Lower Back 

                1.1. Have your patient in a comfortable position with a slight forward lean.
                1.2. Measure a compression strip to span the area of complaint.
                1.3. Measure a security strip starting from the top of the hip to span the area of complaint.
                1.4. Measure a second security strip to match the first.
                1.5. With 50% tension, apply your compression strip to span the area of complaint.
                1.6. Apply your first security strip with 0% tension running from the top of the hip to span the area of complaint.
                1.7. Apply your second security strip with 0% tension to match the first.
                1.8. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                  How to tape different areas of the body - full back

                  2. Full back

                  2.1. Have your patient in a comfortable position with a slight forward lean.
                  2.2. Measure your first compression strip in the primary area of complaint and a second compression strip in the secondary area of complaint.
                  2.3. Measure your first security strip starting at the top of the hip to span the entire back and a second security strip to match the first.
                  2.4. Round your tape ends.
                  2.5. Apply your first compression strip with 50% tension along the primary area of complaint.
                  2.6. Apply your second compression strip in the second area of complaint with 50% tension.
                  2.7. Apply your first security strip with 0% tension, start at the top of the hip and have the tape span the entire back.
                  2.8. Apply your second security strip with 0% tension spanning from the top of the hip to run the entire length of the back.
                  2.9. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                    How to tape different areas of the body - abdominal

                     3. Abdominal

                    3.1. Have your patient in a standing position with the arms raised.
                    3.2. Measure a security strip from the midline, wrapping around the ribs towards the opposite hip.
                    3.3. Double the length of your tape and round the tape ends.
                    3.4. Rip the tape in half and anchor it at the midline. Take one edge of your security strip and wrap it around the ribs to finish the opposite side of the hip. This should be done with 0% tension.
                    3.5. Take the other edge of your security strip and wrap it around the ribs to finish at the opposite hip, again, with 0% tension.
                    3.6. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                      4. Unilateral neck

                      4.1. Start with your patient in a seated position with the head and neck turned towards the opposite shoulder.
                      4.2. Measure a compression strip spanning the area of complaint.
                      4.3. Measure the security strip starting at the base of the skull to finish in the mid-back.
                      4.4. Round your tape ends.
                      4.5. Apply your compression strip ideally with 50% tension spanning the area of complaint.
                      4.6. Apply your security strip starting at the base of the skull to finish in the mid-back. It should be applied with 0% tension.
                      4.7. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                        5. Bilateral neck

                        How to tape different areas of the body - bilateral neck

                        5.1. Start with your patient in a comfortable seated position.
                        5.2. Measure a compression strip to span the area of complaint.
                        5.3. Measure your first security strip from the base of the skull towards the mid-back and a second security strip to match the first.
                        5.4. Have your patient bring the chin towards the chest.
                        5.5. Apply your first compression strip expanding the area of complaint with 50% tension.
                        5.6. Apply your first security strip starting at the base of the skull to finish in the mid-back. This should be applied with 0% tension.
                        5.7. Apply your first security strip to match your first starting at the base of the skull to finish in the mid-back with 0% tension.
                        5.8. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                          Upper limb pain

                          How to tape different areas of the body - bicep

                          1. Bicep

                          1.1. Place the shoulder and the elbow in an extended position while your patient makes a fist.
                          1.2. Measure your first security strip from the outside of the shoulder to the inside of the elbow and your second security strip on the inside of the shoulder to the outside of the elbow.
                          1.3. Round your tape ends.
                          1.4. With 0% tension on the tape, place your first security strip from the inside of the shoulder towards the outside of the elbow.
                          1.5. Take your second security strip, and again with 0% tension, run it from the outside of the shoulder towards the inside of the elbow.
                          1.6. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                            How to tape different areas of the body - tricep

                            2. Tricep

                            2.1. Have the patient flex the elbow and make a fist. Draw the elbow away from the side.
                            2.2. Measure your first security strip running from the outside of the shoulder towards the inside of the elbow and the second security strip running from the inside of the shoulder towards the outside of the elbow.
                            2.3. Round your tape ends.
                            2.4. With 0% tension, take your first security strip from the inside of the shoulder towards the outside of the elbow. With your second security strip, take it from the outside of the shoulder towards the inside of the elbow. Again, with 0% tension.
                            2.5. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                              3. Lateral elbow

                              How to tape different areas of the body - lateral elbow

                              3.1. Place your patient in a position the elbow extended and the wrist flexed while your patient makes a strong fist.
                              3.2. Measure a compression strip in the area of discomfort. Measure a security strip running from the inside of the wrist, wrapping outward along the arm to finish the elbow.
                              3.3. Round your tape ends.
                              3.4. Apply your compression strip with 50% tension on the tape in the area of concern.
                              3.5. Apply your security strip at the inside of the wrist wrapping outward around the forearm to finish at the level of the elbow.
                              3.6. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                How to tape different areas of the body - medial elbow

                                4. Medial elbow

                                4.1. Place your patient in a position with the elbow and wrist extended while they squeeze their fingers tightly.
                                4.2. Measure a compression strip to span the area of discomfort. Measure a security strip running from the inside of the wrist, spanning the forearm to finish at the elbow.
                                4.3. Round your tape ends.
                                4.4. With 50% tension on the tape, place your compression strip to span the area of discomfort.
                                4.5. Place your security strip starting at the inside of the wrist, wrapping around the forearm to finish at the level of the elbow. Apply the security strip with 0% tension.
                                4.6. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                  How to tape different areas of the body - wrist

                                  5. Wrist

                                  5.1. Place your patient in a neutral wrist position while I make a fist.
                                  5.2. Measure your first security strip from the outside of the thumb wrapping around the wrist to finish on the front of the forearm.
                                  5.3. Measure your second security strip, running from the inside of the baby finger. Again, wrapping around the wrist to finish on the front of before.
                                  5.4. Round your tape ends.
                                  5.5. Apply your first security strip with 0% tension starting at the thumb and wrapping around the wrist to finish on the front of the forearm.
                                  5.6. Apply your second security strip starting at the inside of the baby finger, wrapping around the wrist to finish on the front of the forearm. Again, with 0% tension.
                                  5.7. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                    6. Shoulder

                                    How to tape different areas of the body - shoulder

                                    6.1. Place the shoulder in a neutral position. Measure a compression strip spanning the width of the shoulder.
                                    6.2.Measure your first security strip running along the front edge of the deltoid muscle.
                                    6.3. Measure a second security strip running along the back edge of the deltoid muscle.
                                    6.4. Round your tape ends.
                                    6.5. Apply your compression strip spanning the width of the shoulder with 50% tension.
                                    6.6. Apply your first security strip with 0% tension running along the front edge of the deltoid muscle to finish in the neck.
                                    6.7. Apply your second security strip with 0% tension spanning along the backside of the deltoid muscle to finish in the upper neck.
                                    6.8. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive. 

                                      Scar Taping

                                      1. Scar taping

                                      1.1. Cut the tape lengthwise to produce 1-inch strips of tape.
                                      1.2. Measure the two pieces of tape spanning the length of the scar.
                                      1.3. Apply your first piece of tape with 75-100% tension.
                                      1.4. Apply your second piece of tape pulling tension in the opposite direction to the first. Put 75-100% tension.
                                      1.5. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                        2. Linear scar

                                        2.1. Cut the tape lengthwise to form 1-inch pieces of tape. Measure your tape to make sure it spans the length of the scar.
                                        2.2. Apply your first piece of tape with 75-100% tension.
                                        2.3. Apply your second piece of tape, forming a zigzag pattern through the middle of the scar with 75-100% tension.
                                        2.4. Apply the third piece of tape in an alternating direction to the second while applying 75-100% tension.
                                        2.5. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                        3. Zigzag scar

                                        3.1. Cut the tape lengthwise to form 1-inch strips of tape and round the tape ends.
                                        3.2. Measure the tape to span the length of the scar.
                                        3.3. Apply the tape in a star pattern to cover the scar with the tape moving in alternating directions.
                                        3.4. Each piece of tape should have 75-100% tension. This is designed to create a lifting effect on the scar.
                                        3.5. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                        4. Star scar

                                        4.1. Cut the tape lengthwise to form 1-inch strips of tape and round the tape ends.
                                        4.2. Measure the tape to span the length of the scar.
                                        4.3. Apply the tape in a star pattern to cover the scar, with the tape moving in alternating directions. Each piece of tape should have 75-100% tension. This is designed to create a lifting effect on the scar.
                                        4.4. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                        5. Scar tab

                                        5.1. Measure the security strip to span the length of the scar, cut up one inch longer than your measurement.
                                        5.2. Fold the tape in half after ripping off the paper backing to create a tab in the center of the tape.
                                        5.3. Place the tab along the length or width of the scar. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.
                                        5.4. Take a second security strip and have it measure the length of the scar. Fold the tape in half and cut a small slit along the length of the tape to measure the length of the scar. Guide the tab through this piece of tape and rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.
                                        5.5. While applying pressure to the tape, you can use the tab to help manipulate the skin underneath. This can be taught to the patient to use at home or in a clinical setting. This, again, is designed to relieve symptoms of a sunken scar.

                                        Taping for posture

                                        1. Humeral fault

                                        1.1. Place the shoulder in an externally rotated position the arm extended, and the patient should make a fist.
                                        1.2. Measure a security strip from the inside of the elbow wrapping around the upper arm to finish at the opposite shoulder.
                                        1.3. Round your tape ends.
                                        1.4. Apply your security strip starting at the inside of the elbow wrapping around the upper arm with 50% tension. Have the tape finish at the opposite shoulder.
                                        1.5. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                          2. Upper cross

                                          2.1. Place your patient in an ideal posture, correcting the head, neck, shoulders, and arms remembering to not overcorrect.
                                          2.2. Measure a compression strip running from one shoulder to the opposite shoulder.
                                          2.3. Measure your first and second security strips running from the base of the skull towards the mid-back.
                                          2.4. Round your tape ends.
                                          2.5. Apply your compression strip with 50% tension running from the center of the back towards either shoulder.
                                          2.6. Apply your first security strip starting at the base of the skull running towards the mid back with 50% tension.
                                          2.7. Apply your second security strip again starting at the base of the skull, running towards the mid-back with 50% tension.
                                          2.8. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                            3. T-l hinge

                                            3.1. Have your patient in a standing position and correct the posture through the mid-back, remembering to not overcorrect.
                                            3.2. Measure a security strip running from the midline on the back finishing along the midline. Just underneath the ribs, apply your first security strip again starting in the midline of the back moving along the ribs to finish at the midline of the abdomen with 50 - 75% tension.
                                            3.3. Apply your second security strip to match the first starting along the midline of the back, moving around the ribs to finish at the midline of the abdomen with 50-75% tension.
                                            3.4. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                              4. Lower cross

                                              4.1. Place your patient in a standing position correcting the position of the low back, hips, and knees, remembering to not overcorrect.
                                              4.2. Measure two security strips along the front edge of the abdomen and two security strips for each leg.
                                              4.3. Round your tape ends.
                                              4.4. Apply your first security strip starting at the short line moving along the front edge of the abdomen.
                                              4.5. Apply your second security strip to match your first along the edge of the abdomen with 50% tension.
                                              4.6. Apply your first security strip, starting at the top of the short line on the back of the leg with 50% tension to finish on the backside of the knee.
                                              4.7. Apply your second security strip starting at the top of the short line to finish on the backside of the knee.
                                              4.8. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                                5. Valgus collapse

                                                5.1. Start your patient in a position where the hip, knee, and foot are stacked upon each other.
                                                5.2. Measure a security strip from the inside of the lower leg, dropping outwardly along the upper leg to finish at the level of the hip.
                                                5.3. Cut your tape one to two inches shorter than your measurement and round your tape ends.
                                                5.4. Start with your security strip along the inside of the lower leg wrapping outward along the upper leg to finish at the level of the hip with 50% tension.
                                                5.5. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.

                                                  Edema Taping

                                                  How to tape different areas of the body - edema taping

                                                   1. Ankle edema

                                                  1.1. Cut two pieces of tape to span the length of the swollen area. Cut four one-inch fans in each piece of tape leaving a one-inch tab at the end of the tape.
                                                  1.2. Apply your security strip through the anchor, rip the paper backing off each individual fan.
                                                  1.3. Place each fan spanning the area of the edema with 0% tension on the tape.
                                                  1.4. Gently rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.
                                                    2. Thigh edema
                                                    2.1. Measure two security strips spanning the area of edema on the thigh.
                                                    2.2. Cut each security strip into four one-inch fans, leaving a one-inch tab at one end of the tape.
                                                    2.3. Secure the tape on the skin using the tab.
                                                    2.4. Apply each fan with 0% tension, removing the paper backing as you go. Remember that you want the fans to span the entire area of edema.
                                                    2.5. Apply your second security strip in an opposite direction to the first. Remove the paper backing and place the tab on the skin to secure the tape job.
                                                    2.6. Apply your fans individually removing the paper backing as you go. Each fan should be applied, again, with 0% tension.
                                                    2.7. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.
                                                    2.8. Upon completion of the tape job, you should have a basket weave pattern over the area of edema.

                                                    3. Arm edema

                                                    3.1. Measure two security strips spanning the entire length of the arm. Cut four one-inch fans leaving a one-inch tab at the end of the security strip.
                                                    3.2. Use the one-inch tab to landmark the tape on the skin.
                                                    3.3. Apply each fan spanning the entire length of the arm with 0% tension.
                                                    3.4. Remove the paper backing individually and rub in the tape to activate the adhesive as you go. Remember that you want the tape job to span the entire length of the arm or the entire area of edema.
                                                    3.5. Place your second security strip on the front edge of the shoulder using the tab to secure the tape to the skin. Again, apply each fan individually removing the paper backing as you go.
                                                    3.6. Rub in the tape to activate the adhesive.
                                                    3.7. You want the tape to span the entire area of edema, the front side of the arm, or the entire length of the arm.
                                                    3.8.Following the completion of the tape job, the tape should cover the entire circumference of the arm.