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RockTape Claims of Better Blood Flow, Lymph Drainage Class Action

Woman's Shoulder and Upper Arm Taped Up with Rocktape

RockTape’s tagline is “Go stronger, longer.” The complaint for this class action brings suit against its maker, Tumbleweed, and its owner, Implus Footcare, LLC, claiming that that and other statements about the benefits of RockTape are simply not true.

The class for this action is all persons who bought RockTape in the US, for personal use and not for resale, during the limitations period. There is also a subclass of those who bought RockTape in California.

RockTape is not cheap. The two-inch by 16.4-foot roll of this “kinesio tape” that plaintiff Mario DeLaMora bought cost him $18. 

Tumbleweed advertises it as having multiple benefits, including treating sports injuries, delaying fatigue, and enhancing performance. Statements on the box (pictured in the complaint) say that RockTape is “[m]ade for competition” and that it is “the only kinesiology tape engineered to meet the demands of endurance athletes like runners, swimmers, and cyclists.” It claims it can be used “both to apply compression to promote recovery, or decompression to relieve pain and swelling.”

How is it supposed to work? The box says, “When applied over a stretched muscle, ROCKTAPE lifts the skin, accelerating blood flow in increase the amount of oxygen available to the muscles, which reduces fatigue. ROCKTAPE also promotes lymph drainage to remove toxins produced by the body during hard efforts.”

Other claims are made on other sides of the box, and on the product website, such as “RockTape also helps promote proper form by helping athletes coordinate their movements, which leads to efficiency” and “It can be used to treat sports and non-sports injuries, including shin splints, plantar fasciitis, runner’s knee and back pain*[.]”

However, the complaint alleges that these are false claims. It quotes conclusions from nine different studies that have not found the advertised benefits:

  • “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.”
  • “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.”
  • “There was no substantial evidence to support the use of [kinesio tape] for improvements in other musculoskeletal outcomes (pain, ankle proprioception or muscle activity).”
  • “[O]ur results do not support the claim that [kinesio taping] improves muscle endurance.”

The counts in the complaint primarily involve breaches of warranty and California consumer protection laws.

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