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Leigh MacKenzie
March 10, 2021

How To Choose the Right Tape For Patients


At OrthoCanada, we often get asked our recommendations for the type of taping therapists or clinicians should use. Indeed, there is a vast selection out on the market. But not all taping products are the same. Let’s dive into the world of taping!


The problem with conventional taping

Conventional rigid athletic tapes, whether white or brown, have been used for years. However, there are many challenges to these types of tape:

  • Lack of staying power: Most traditional athletic tapes come off in a couple of hours or in less than a day.
  • More tape is required: Healthcare professionals need to stock up on more tape in order to mitigate the lack of staying power, which can increase overall procurement costs.
  • Reduced comfort: Rigid tapes may cause blisters, skin irritations, etc. which exacerbate patient dissatisfaction.
  • Reduced mobility: Rigid tapes may impact a patient’s mobility, which can compromise rehab success and time.
  • Complicated to use: White or brown rigid tapes are not easy for self-taping applications; educating patients on the right methods takes a lot of time.
An effective alternative: Elastic tape

Over the years, many elastic tape brands hit the market in order to address the challenges caused by traditional tapes. That was fantastic news back in the day as innovations in elastic taping were much needed for therapists.


However, today, the elastic taping market is quite saturated. OrthoCanada has heard from many therapists about the challenge of shopping for this type product from various vendors. Most feel they are bombarded with colours, how to use them, the pricing, and how to scout out good-quality tapes.

K-Tape OrthoCanada

The Kumbrink Method: K-Tape

Over the past decade, K-Tape has become one the most recognized and widely used therapy method around the world. K-Taping Therapy was developed by physiotherapist Birgit Kumbrink, a pioneer in therapeutic taping.


K-Taping is a non-pharmaceutical therapy method that has been successful in treating a vast array of clinical conditions. Water-resistant, breathable and featuring an elasticity comparable to that of human muscles, K-Tape enables long wearing and comfort. What’s more: K-Taping continues to work for as long as the tape remains on the patient, which is usually around a week.


Another major advantage of K-Tape treatments is that the therapist can give the patient supportive therapy to take home, as this type of tape is much easier to use without substantial education.


K-Tape has a myriad of features that make it an ideal taping solution for clinicians:

  • K-Tape’s characteristics of the cotton fabric and elastic properties contribute to patient comfort and rehab success.
  • K-Taping products do not contain any latex, which can affect people suffering from allergies.
  • K-Taping is made with high-quality Dystar dyes that possess the OEKO-TEX Standard 100 label and are approved for use in baby clothing.
  • K-Taping core tapes are available in four basic colours: red for stimulation, blue to relax, and two neutrals, beige and black. Beige is particularly ideal for hiding impairments and injuries, use in different sports and for dancers who cannot use colours, etc.
  • K-Tape also comes in Pure Cotton, the first dye-free K-Tape that is bleached using an advanced chemical-free oxygen process. Pure Cotton is perfect for the elderly, infants, and people with skin problems or allergies.
  • K-Tape My Skin offers the same excellent characteristics and properties as the basic colours—but with a revolutionary and inclusive skin colour-matching system.

A compelling K-Tape case study

One of the first instructors at K-Taping Academy Canada was Lois Pohlod, a sport physiotherapist from Calgary, Alberta. Lois is a registered international sport physiotherapist and GLAD Canada provider. She works at Physiotherapy InMotion in Calgary. Additionally, Lois is the Chief Therapist of the medical team for Team Canada for the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan. She recently provided OrthoCanada with an osteoarthritis K-Taping case study to illustrate the performance of K-Taping and the importance of investing in a certified training course.



Osteoarthritis is the leading cause of physical inactivity in people over 65 years. Not only does the cartilage at the end of the bones degrade in OA but also other parts of the joint, such as the joint capsule, ligaments and the underlying bone, are affected. Many studies have shown that the cartilage needs moderate load through physical activity to regenerate itself.


Many Canadian patients with osteoarthritis of the hip and knee are taking part in the 7-week GLA:D Canada exercise and education program taught by health care professionals across the country.


The case

  • A 61-year-old female with left knee with osteoarthritis
  • Works as a nurse and is walking quite a bit at work
  • Pain under patella and in knee joint, pain with standing and walking.
  • Marked fatigue end of day

He doctor recommended the GLAD program to help strengthen patient. During program, the patient feeling unstable on the left knee; she was terrified she will fall. The patient had an unloading brace; however, she felt she could not wear this for long periods of time While she was able to do the exercise program, the physiotherapist noted the need for more active knee support and recommended using the K-Tape technique.


Before taping

The patient could only complete 1 set of 8-10 repetitions of each exercise due to balance issues, pain and fatigue.


Treatment plan

In addition to the exercise program, the K-Tape was applied to the patient. She was able to wear the tape 3-5 days, and then remove and clean skin. The physiotherapist reapplied the tape and taught the patient how self-tape on her own. The techniques included:

  • Muscle technique to stimulate the vastus medialis
  • Fascial technique for the arthritis of the knee
  • Ligament technique (MCL and LCL) for the collaterals of the knee

Progress with K-Taping use

The patient progressed over the 7 weeks to 3 sets of 15 (the prescribed goal) for each of the exercises in the program. The patient’s post program testing improved by 25% and reported decreased pain, increased in balance. and boosted confidence.


Products used

  • Pre-K gel to clean the skin and make the skin slightly tacky so that the tape would adhere longer
  • K-Tape

How to get started using K-Taping

Because K-Taping can support an extraordinarily wide range of therapies that can be used by physiotherapists, chiropractors, athletic therapists, massage therapists, osteopaths, kinesiologists, and medical doctors, investing bringing K-Taping to your clinic is a very viable option to provide quality care.


If you are just getting started or are a seasoned taper, here are some suggestions to getting started with K-Tape:

  • Take a training session with K-Taping Academy Canada. It will save you time and money. For example, our K-Taping instructors teach you how to measure on the body and the tape. You will also learn about contraindications and other helpful tips on how to hold the tape, remove the paper, remove the tape, incorporate the applications into your assessment etc. This allows for accuracy the first tape and what to do if you make a mistake and use more tape. More importantly, the tape will be applied correctly, and your patient will feel less pain with comfort.
  • Get a certification from K-Taping Academy Canada. Unfortunately, some clinicians opt only for quick videos online that are not certified by a proper academy, causing impropriate application. Patients usually end up with blisters and you, the therapist, are on the phone with the distributor.
  • Look at the instructor’s credentials and experience. K-Taping Academy Canada team members are all international sport physiotherapists with at least 10 years of experience. We also have a pelvic health physiotherapist, who teaches the specialized K-Taping for Women’s Health course.

Discover K-Taping Academy Canada

Learn more about K-Taping is a holistic and non-pharmaceutical therapy method successful with an extremely wide range of clinical conditions. Established in Germany for many years, the K-Taping International Academy has become an important component in the range of modern therapies.


There are many Pro and Advance courses for Canadian clinicians. Get more information here:


K-Taping Academy Canada

K-Tape Academy

Shop K-Tape

Browse K-Tape solutions, including its standard colours, Pure Cotton and K-Tape My Skin.


K-Tape FAQs

  • What is elastic stretch tape used for?
    The elastic stretch improves muscle function, joint support, elimination of circulatory impairments and pain reduction.

  • What is the difference between K-Tape and other tapes?
    K-Tape is a high-quality tape backed with extensive training material to improve your patient taping.

  • How long can you wear K-Tape?
    5-7 days.

  • Is K-Tape for prevention or the treatment of injuries?
    K-Tape is ideal for treating injuries and helping to prevent further pain.

  • What does all the colour mean in tape?
    As mentioned above, the original K-Tape is available in the four colours: red, blue, beige and black. There is no difference in the structure and properties of the tapes. They have identical stretching capacities. Red is regarded as activating and stimulating, whereas blue is calming. Black and beige are classed as neutral.

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