Kinesiology tape is a coloured elastic adhesive tape that is used on the skin. Targeted tape systems can be used to influence muscle, ligament, lymph, joint and nerve structures through the skin. The adhesive technology, as well as the cut and the adhesive surface, are of decisive importance. But what about the colour selection of the tape. Do the different colours have a specific meaning, or are the choice of colour just a matter of the head?
The classic colours pink, blue, black, beige and green are available in retail outlets. Sielmann et al. (2004) attach great importance to the choice of colours for tape systems. In this way, colours are assigned a specific effect. It should be mentioned here. However, different authors contradict each other in the effect and assignment of tape colour and effect.
In contrast, Eder et al. (2008) and Kumbrink (2009) discuss different colour effects, but immediately point out that colours can only have a supporting effect.
Accordingly, the following properties and effects are assigned to classic colours:
The colour blue has a cooling and calming effect on our body. Therefore blue tape is used for bruises, swellings and non-contraindicated inflammatory processes.
Red has a warming and stimulating effect on our body. Therefore, red tape is mainly used in the sense of increased blood circulation, e.g. after muscular overload and to stimulate structures.
Black tape is assigned aggressiveness and strength. So it has hardly any medical relevance, but psychologically it is even more relevant. Black tape is trendy in contact sports.
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Neutrality is assigned to this colour. Therefore, it is mainly used when a tape system is not to be noticed directly; For example, if you have a migraine headache.
The green colour is said to have a harmonizing effect. It is mainly used to control organs and to compensate for states of restlessness.
Of course, the industry never tires of bringing more colours onto the market. The functions can be roughly divided: Red tones stimulate, while blue tones have a calming and cooling effect.
The wide range of colors can also be used to differentiate tape systems. Example: Pink = muscle application without pulling, blue = fascia technique with pulling. With this method, the therapist can later understand which application technique was used (Habsch, 2012).
Since there is no reliable scientific study on the colour of the tape and the associated properties, and since the tapes of different colours do not contain many different active ingredients, it can be assumed that the choice of colour does not influence a tape system. Because in fact, there are no receptors in the skin that can “feel” colour.
However, the patient’s aesthetic and personal preferences for the tape application can be taken into account. Coordination with the patient increases compliance considerably.
In principle, the following applies: First and foremost, tape technology is decisive for a tape system’s success. If the tape is poorly applied, the desired goal cannot be achieved. Finally, the colour selection should be discussed with the patient so that no colour is used that the patient does not like. An effective tape system also depends on the patient’s colour preferences.