Science & Equine

  • Logo Mono
Written by Marly Coppens
Posted in Taping

Image by:

Kinesio taping fundamentals for the equine athlete

The idea of Dr. Kenzo Kase in 1979 was was to have a tool working on patients in between treatments. He developed elastic tape which is not restricting range of motion and could stay on for 5 days. The effects of Kinesio taping are being largely investigated in human medicine. However this technique is increasingly being used in equine medicine, only a few studies have been performed on horses. Further clinical research is needed to investigate the effects of Kinesio taping in equine rehabilitation and sports medicine. 

Contraindications before applying Kinesio tape are: active cellulitis, skin infection, open wounds and malignancy sites. It is considered that everything that can be treated with the hands can be treated with the tape, indications could be:

  • Tendon and ligament injuries 
  • Muscle imbalances 
  • Postural adjustments 
  • Lymphatic and circulatory conditions 
  • Neurologic pathologies 
  • Pathologic movement patterns 
  • Fascial adhesions 
  • Scars 
  • Acute and chronic pain 

The application of the tape on the skin affects 5 major physiologic systems differently:

  1. Skin: lifting effect with creation of space between superficial layers
  2. Fascia: unwinding effect, redirection of movement
  3. Muscle: optimization of function
  4. Lymphatic: decongestion and fluid redirection
  5. Joint: realignment effect through direct proprioceptive action on ligaments or indirect
    through muscle control.

Kinesio taping is not a substitute for veterinary care, its use needs to be approved 
by a clinician, and its application must be performed by trained professionals because improper 
use may be harmful.

> From: S. Molle et al., Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract. 2016 Apr;32(1):103-13. All rights reserved to 2016 Elsevier Inc. Click here for the Pubmed summary.

Dr. Kase Kinesio Taping a Horse. Photo courtesy of Kinesio-USA
(Image by:

About the author of this summary:

More summaries from this author