Lymphatic drainage taping

When lymphatic nodes are removed there is a risk of developing lymphedema. Lymphatic congestion increases the pressure in the tissues, as a result, the space between the skin and the muscle gets smaller and the natural drainage of the lymph slows down. The pressure of the lymph then directly affects the pain receptors that cause the symptoms of discomfort and sensations of pain.

Prior to applying tape to the area of swelling, the muscle and skin above it are stretched. After the kinesiology tape, which is not stretched, is applied, the muscle and ligaments contract and return to their initial state which leads to skin folds forming in what looks like waves. The skin rises above the muscles which essentially creates an additional inner cellular space and promotes lymphatic drainage. Thanks to this the nerve receptors are stimulated less, and the painful sensations recede. Connective tissues relax, lymph flow improves. Combined with body movements, kinesiology tape stretches the skin and massages it. This improves the lymphatic drainage as well.

Mechanism of action

Lymphatic drainage taping is aimed at:

 – optimizing lymph flow and blood flow;

  reducing the inflammatory process;

 – relieving the pain;

 – improving metabolism on a microcirculatory level.

Lymphatic technique of tape application

The length of the tape is measured along the flexed arm. Depending on length, tape is cut into 4-6 long strips. The basis (anchor) of the tape must have 4-5 cm in length. Tape is applied in the direction of the closest lymphatic nodes and the lymph flow without stretching, the strips applied to the skin in wavy or straight lines with minimal tension. To enhance the effect, you can apply two fan-shaped tapes. Correct technique of the procedure ensures a better lymphatic drainage. 

Kinesiology tapes are contraindicated to use: 

  • • on open wounds;

     • in case of skin infections;

      if the skin is injured or irritated;

      in deep vein thrombosis;

     • in acute heart failure;

      in local malignant tumor and metastasis.


    Taping procedure is used as a part of integrated lymphedema treatment and not as a single treatment method.

Online reference