Some consumers have questions about KT Tape.
- “Does KT Tape work?“
- “Does KT Tape relieve pain?”
- “Does Kt Tape enhance athletic performance?”
On October 30, 2015, in the District of Massachusetts, with Pastor Law Office and SFMS, we initiated a false advertising class action lawsuit concerning KT Tape. If you purchased KT Tape and are dissatisfied with the results, we want to hear from you immediately. You may be entitled to financial compensation.
The defendants in the KT Tape false advertising class action complaint are KT Health Holdings, Inc. d/b/a KT Health, Inc., KT Holdings, LLC and KT Health, LLC (formerly Lumos, Inc.), (collectively, “KT Health”). KT Health, LLC is owned by Palladin Consumer Retail Partners, LLC.
The lawsuit alleges:
KT Health has made a concerted and orchestrated effort to prey on consumers’ eternal hope that products exist that can quickly and effortlessly alleviate their pain.
KT Health has deceptively represented that by simply applying strips of bright, stretchy fabric with an adhesive backing onto the skin above an injured area, consumers can obtain relief from pain, recover faster, and receive treatment from a myriad of common injuries such as achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, rib pain, runner’s knee, and shin splints.
KT Health’s calculated product placement on the bodies of Olympic athletes and famous sports stars has, remarkably, given life to a new product called “kinesiology tape” or kinesio tape.”
The product being sold by KT Health is nothing but a scientific-sounding, made- up word: “Kinesio Tape” or “KT Tape” for short. KT Health manufactures and sells several products under the name of KT Tape: KT Tape (also referred to as KT Tape Cotton or KT Original), KT Tape Pro, KT Tape ProX Patches, KT Tape Clinical, and KT Tape Limited Editions. These products are referred to collectively herein as “KT Tape” or “KT Tape Product(s).”
KT Tape is not wound around portions of the body (as is the case with traditional athletic tape), but instead is pre-stretched and then stuck onto the skin above the injury.
The concept for KT Tape is not even an original one: a Japanese chiropractor named Kenzo Kase came up with the idea in the 1970s. The idea was as lacking in substance or merit then as it is now. KT Health’s creative and aggressive marketing efforts are the only reason that KT Health has been able to sell so much of this product at premium prices.
Traditional or standard athletic tape, which is commonly used to provide support and compression, (i.e wrapping around a football player’s sprained ankle) has a recognized place in sports medicine, but KT Tape does not.
In contrast to its common white cotton fabric tape counterpart (traditional athletic tape), KT Tape has a colorful sheen, and is the opposite of regular athletic tape, as KT Tape is supposed to lift the skin (as opposed to compressing it).
There is some suggestion that purchasers could benefit from a placebo effect when using KT Tape; “Some experts have suggested there may be a placebo effect in using the tape, with athletes believing it will be helpful,” [but] “[n]o clinically important results were found to support the tape’s use for pain relief.” KT Health does not disclose to consumers that if there are any health benefits to be obtained from KT Tape, they are limited to the placebo effect.
Through misleading statements in its labeling, advertising, and marketing of its so-called “Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape” or “KT Tape,” KT Health has promoted the myth that its products work to treat a variety of sports-related injuries.
KT Health profits handsomely by making misleading claims that the KT Tape Products have unique pain and injury-negating effects when applied to human skin.
The KT Tape Products’ packaging makes the following representations, among others:
- “For Pain Relief and Support” (emphasis added) (KT Tape and Tape Pro)
- “For Common Injuries”: carpal tunnel, hamstring strain, wrist pain, runner’s knee, neck strain, calf strain, shoulder pain, achilles tendonitis, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, golfer’s elbow, shin splints, rib pain, ankle sprain, gluteus sprain, and quad sprain (emphasis added) (KT Tape and KT Tape Pro)
- “For Targeted Pain Relief” (emphasis added) (KT Tape Pro X Patches)
- “For Targeted—Muscle—Pain Relief” (emphasis added) (KT Tape Pro X Patches)
- “For Fast, Easy Pain Relief” from “Muscle Pains, Overuse Injuries, Tendonitis … and More.” (emphasis added) (KT Tape Pro X Patches)
Every package of KT Tape contains the above claims and representations such that every consumer who purchases a KT Tape Product is exposed to these claims and representations.
- “KT TAPE is an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support.” (emphasis added) (all KT Tape Products)
- KT Tape “can be used for hundreds of common injuries such as lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow, just to name a few.” (emphasis added) (all KT Tape Products)
- KT Tape “provides 24 hour [pain] relief per application for days at a time through sweat, strain and humidity” (emphasis added) (all KT Tape Products)
- KT Tape “provides targeted pain relief and will stay in place through multiple workouts for up to 3 days, through daily showers, humidity, cold, even in the pool.” (emphasis added) (KT Tape)
- “SORE MUSCLES, JOINTS, AND TENDONS—REJOICE” (KT Tape and KT Tape Pro)
- KT Tape Pro “is just what the trainer ordered. It will keep you pain free and supported exactly where you need it.” (emphasis added)
- “KT TAPE PRO X provides targeted relief for muscle pain, overuse injuries, and tendon-related pain and injuries.” (emphasis added)
Every package of KT Tape and KT Tape Pro plainly represents that KT Tape treats 16 specific injuries:
FOR COMMON INJURIES
Every package of KT Tape Pro X Patches adds tendonitis to the list of specific injuries it will treat, and includes additional catch-all or general pain relief claims:
FOR FAST, EASY PAIN RELIEF
Unfonsumers, the pain relief and injury treatment claims made by KT Health are false, deceptive, and misleading. KT Tape Products are not the panacea they are claimed to be.
As a result, KT Health’s marketing and advertising campaign is the same as that of the quintessential snake-oil salesman – KT Health dupes consumers with false and misleading promises of results it knows it cannot deliver, and does so with one goal in mind – selling larger volumes of KT Tape Products to consumers and reaping enormous profits.
The premise that there are any health benefits to be derived by tensioning or adjusting the skin through the application of stretchable sports tape, known as “kinesiology tape” or kinesio tape” (such as increasing blood flow) is not supported by scientific evidence, and is not accepted by the medical community.
To the contrary, there are numerous recently published, peer-reviewed, scholarly articles revealing the ineffective and useless nature of kinesiology tape. The conclusions of these studies unmask the deception utilized by KT Health to market KT Tape:
- Conclusion: “This review provides the most updated evidence on the effectiveness of the Kinesio Taping for musculoskeletal conditions. The current evidence does not support the use of this intervention in these clinical populations.”
- Conclusion: “The application of Kinesio Taping, with the aim of stimulating the lymphatic system, is ineffective in decreasing acute swelling after an ankle sprain in athletes.”
- Conclusion: “Kinesio Taping applied with stretch to generate convolutions in the skin was no more effective than simple application of the tape without tension for the outcomes measured. These results challenge the proposed mechanism of action of this therapy.”
- Conclusion: “There was no substantial evidence to support the use of KT for improvements in other musculoskeletal outcomes (pain, ankle proprioception or muscle activity).”
Pseudoscience, deceptive and misleading claims of purported health benefits, and celebrity athlete endorsements–instead of valid research and innovation and actual ability to treat injuries and provide pain relief– are responsible for the massive sales of KT Tape.
Despite the falsity of Defendants’ claims and assertions, when KT Health introduced KT Tape in the United States sports market in 2008, it launched a massive advertising and marketing campaign prominently featuring “Targeted Pain Relief” as a benefit of KT Tape, while associating the product with images of the world’s most elite athletes:
Defendants’ nationwide multimedia advertising campaign has been extensive and comprehensive. KT Health has spent millions of dollars on, among other things, print and television advertisements intended to convey these deceptive messages to consumers throughout the United States, including Plaintiff and the other Class members. KT Health’s advertising campaign for KT Tape is continuing through the present.
As a result of KT Health’s false claims about the benefits of KT Tape, consumers, including Plaintiff and other Class members, have paid a premium price for a product that does not perform as claimed and advertised.
Defendants have been able to charge, and Plaintiff and the other members of the proposed Class have paid, a price premium for KT Tape over traditional athletic tape. KT Health has used deceptive claims regarding the purported benefits of KT tape to charge a premium approximately ten times the price of traditional athletic tape, and has achieved massive sales of KT Tape as a result.
KT Health’s false, deceptive and misleading representations about the pain-relieving and injury-treating properties of KT Tape were and are material; there would be no reason for a consumer to purchase a KT Tape Product and pay a premium price for it (over and above the price of traditional athletic tape) if not for the claims and representations about KT Tape’s ability to relieve pain and treat a variety of injuries.
Facts Relating to KT Health’s False, Deceptive, and
Misleading Advertising and Marketing
KT Health designs, manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells KT Tape.
KT Health began selling KT Tape in the United States in 2008.
KT Health has claimed consistently that its KT Tape Products relieve pain and treat a variety of injuries (as described in greater detail above and below).
For example, in August of 2012, KT Health LLC Chief Executive Officer, John MacKay, boasted in a press release concerning KT Health LLC’s sponsorship of a famous triathlete: “Triathletes test the boundaries of human endurance. KT Tape enables them to go the distance, both in and out of the water, without being sidelined by injuries and pain.”
KT Health’s marketing department has continuously promoted the falsehood that KT Tape differs from, and is superior to traditional athletic tape, by claiming that it is used to “treat and prevent hundreds of common injuries.”
KT Health repeats its misrepresentations about KT Tape (that it relieves pain and is a panacea for common musculo-skeletal ailments) on its website, located at http://www.KT Tape.com which is available to the general public. Below are reproductions of images and representations found on the KT Health website:
WHAT IS KT TAPE
KT Tape is an elastic sports and fitness tape designed for muscle, ligament and tendon pain relief and support. (Emphasis added.)
WHO IS IT FOR?
Whether you’re training for your first marathon, getting ready for your next game, reaching a personal fitness goal, or just trying to get through the day, you already know that nothing slows you down faster than pain and injury. KT TAPE is lightweight, comfortable to wear, and can be used for hundreds of common injuries such as lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow, just to name a few. (Emphasis added).
KT TAPE not only looks good, but it also provides 24 hour relief per application for days at a time through sweat, strain and humidity, and can even be worn in water thanks to our specially designed adhesive. (Emphasis added.)
DESIGNED TO GIVE YOU PAIN RELIEF AND SUPPORT
KT TAPE is applied along muscles, ligaments, and tendons (soft tissue) to provide a lightweight, external support that helps you remain active while recovering from injuries. KT Tape creates neuromuscular feedback (called proprioception) that inhibits (relaxes) or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. This feedback creates support elements without the bulk and restriction commonly associated with wraps and heavy bracing. KT Tape gives you confidence to perform your best.
KT TAPE PRO
SORE MUSCLES, JOINTS, AND TENDONS – REJOICE
Need support that will endure your toughest workout? KT TAPE PRO is just what the trainer ordered. It will keep you pain free and supported exactly where you need it. (Emphasis added.) KT TAPE PRO will stay in place through multiple demanding workouts for up to seven days. KT TAPE PRO will stick with you in the harshest conditions including daily showers, humidity, cold, even in the pool.
KT TAPE PRO is performance engineered to work in the harshest environments. It’s the world’s only 100% synthetic kinesiology tape, re-engineered with stronger adhesive, to outlast anything you can throw at it.
Each box comes with 20 precut strips of 100% synthetic tape. One hard plastic carrying case with twist on lids to keep your tape in good shape in your gym bag or purse. One Quick Start Guide with step-by-step instructions on the most common injuries and one KT sticker.
SORE MUSCLES, JOINTS AND TENDONS-REJOICE
Need support that will endure multiple lighter workouts? Then original KT TAPE is for you. It provides targeted pain relief and will stay in place through multiple workouts for up to 3 days, through daily showers, humidity, cold, even in the pool. (Emphasis added.)
Each box comes with 20 precut strips of tape on a roll and a quick start guide with step-by-step instructions for the most common injuries.
KT TAPE PRO X
ELASTIC SPORTS PATCHES
FOR TARGETED PAIN RELIEF
Convenient and easy to apply
Use in place of KT TAPE half strips
Use with 10-inch strips or alone for pain relief (Emphasis added.)
KT TAPE PRO X™ is a kinesiology patch specially designed to provide targeted relief for muscle pain, overuse injuries, and tendon-related pain and injuries. KT TAPE PRO X patches were developed for the on-the-go, active consumer who appreciates a healthy lifestyle and doesn’t want to be slowed down by pain or complex taping applications. KT TAPE PRO X will stay in place through multiple demanding workouts for up to 3-5 days (Emphasis added.)
Each box comes with 15 precut X patches. One hard plastic carrying case will help keep your patches in good shape in your gym bag or purse. One Quick Start Guide with step-by-step instructions on the most common injuries is included as well.
KT Health publishes videos on its website that purport to show how KT tape is utilized to treat musculo-skeletal problems and conditions, such as Osgood-Schlatter disease and Illiotibial Band Syndrome (“ITBS”). Alongside such videos, KT Health makes injury treatment claims such as “KT Tape application for ITBS at the knee is very helpful in relieving much of the associated pain by relieving pressure over the bony prominence (sore spot) and in turn increases circulation. Functional support is provided to the musculature as well. These functions help relieve pain and promote the healing process.”
KT Health sells KT Tape Products to United States consumers through a variety of different channels, including through independent retailers (such as CVS, Rite-Aid, Target, Amazon, Foot Locker and Walmart), and through KT Health’s website, www.KTTape.com.
KT Health’s untrue, deceptive and misleading labeling, advertising, marketing and promotion of KT Tape has continued throughout the Class Period, and is continuing as of the present date.
As purchasers of KT Tape who were aggrieved by KT Health’s untrue and misleading advertising (in that Plaintiff and the other Class members purchased a product that did not conform to the claims and representations made about it by KT Health, including claims about “pain relief,” “increased muscle activation” and other claims and representations), Plaintiff is entitled to and brings this class action to seek all available remedies…
 KT Tape Clinical is simply a differently packaged version of KT Tape or KT Tape Pro, available pre-cut or uncut, allowing for larger volume purchases, primarily for trainers and physical therapists. The KT Tape Limited Editions differ from the other KT Tape Products only cosmetically, in pattern and color, but are otherwise the same as the other KT Tape Products, and subject to the same claims and representations.
 Kinesio Tape for Athletes: A Big Help, or Hype? http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/kinesio-tape-athletes-help-hype, last accessed October 22, 2015.
 “LEGS: IT Band Hip, Calf, Shin Splints, Posterior Shin Splints, Quad, Hamstrings, Groin, Hip Flexor, Gluteus, Knees, Outer Knee, Inner Knee, Full Knee Support, Osgood Schlatter, Back of Knee; ANKLES/FEET: Achilles Tendonitis, Ankle Stability, Plantar Fasciitis, Peroneal Tendonitis, Ball of Foot, Heel, Bunion, Turf Toe; TRUNK/BACK: SI Joint, Low Back, Middle Back, Ribs, Spine, Abdominals; NECK/SHOULDERS: Neck & Shoulder, General Shoulder, Rotator Cuff, AC Joint, Shoulder Stability; ARMS/HANDS: Wrist, General Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow, Tennis Elbow, Finger Jam, Thumb, Bicep, Tricep.”
 Current evidence does not support the use of Kinesio Taping in clinical practice: a systematic review, Journal of Physiotherapy 60 (2014) 31–39, last accessed on October 19, 2015 from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955314000095.
 Kinesio Taping does not decrease swelling in acute, lateral ankle sprain of athletes: a randomised trial, Journal of Physiotherapy 61 (2015) 28–33), last accessed on October 19, 2015 from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955314001489.
 Kinesio Taping to generate skin convolutions is not better than sham taping for people with chronic non-specific low back pain: a randomised trial, Journal of Physiotherapy 60 (2014) 90–96, last accessed on October 19, 2015 from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1836955314000368.
 Kinesio Taping in Treatment and Prevention of Sports Injuries A Meta-Analysis of the Evidence for its Effectiveness, Sports Medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) [Sports Med] 2012 Feb 1; Vol. 42 (2), pp. 153-64.
 http://www.kttape.com/store/pro-x/kt-tape-pro-x.html#tabDesc, last accessed on October 22, 2015.
 http://www.kttape.com/instructions/outer-knee/#pnlReadMoreAfter, last accessed on October 19, 2015.
Information about KT Tape
US Patent documents claim that “Kinesiology tape consists of a strip of elastic and non elastic fibers, usually covered in cotton, which is placed on human skin. Kinesiology tape is useful in therapy to reduce soreness in overused and injured muscles and in rehabilitation to accelerate recovery. The tape can have a lifting effect on the skin Which can reduce swelling and inflammation by improving circulation and reduce pain by taking pressure off pain receptors.”
Background information about the history of this company is posted on Reed Quinn’s Linkedin page:
- KT Tape Business Plan (2008)
- Michelle and Reed Quinn’s video about entrepreneurship and their experiences launching KT Tape.
Video of KT Tape Packaging
- The bizarre tape that has adorned Olympic athletes: Researchers say there is ‘no evidence’ it works
- The Healthy Skeptic: The sticky issue of kinesiology tapes
- Dr Kenzo Kase: My magic tape can aid injured muscles
- The readers’ editor… on bright ideas and bold claims
- Ask Well: Does Kinesiology Tape Really Work?
- Kinesio Sports Tape Subject of Consumer Fraud Class Action Lawsuit
- KT Tape Class Action Started in Boston
- Sports Tape Doesn’t Relieve Pain, Class Suit Says
- Kinesio Tape sued in Consumer Fraud Class Action
- Kinesiotape Sued in Class Action Suit
- Misuse of Kinesio Trademark in Lawsuit
- Kinesio Taping for Performance: How It Really Works
- Consumer Fraud Archives – KT Tape False Advertising Class Action
- KT TAPE