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Kinesio Tape for Lymphedema

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Kinesio tape is a flexible tape placed on the skin to support and stabilize certain muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion. The goal is to help the body heal from an injury naturally. You may have seen some athletes wearing it during televised sports events.

Some lymphedema therapists are beginning to use Kinesio tape as part of the treatment plan for lymphedema. The theory is that the tape can mimic the effect of manual lymphatic drainage, stimulating the movement of lymph by stretching the skin wherever it is placed. However, its effectiveness hasn’t been widely studied. If your lymphedema therapist recommends it, ask about his or her previous experience and level of training. Although Kinesio taping may or may not be helpful, it’s not likely to cause any harm or make the lymphedema worse. However, the tape should not be used over skin that is irritated as a result of radiation therapy or some other cause, as it could tear the skin.

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