WHAT IS KINESIO-TAPING?
Kinesio-tape or KT tape -is a thin, stretchy, elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive and can benefit a wide variety of musculoskeletal and sports injuries, plus inflammatory conditions.
It is applied along muscles, ligaments and tendons ( soft tissue) to provide lightweight, external support that helps you remain active while recovering from injuries. It 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.
Kinesio- is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows it to be worn without binding, constricting or restriction of your movement.
Kinesio- tape is used for treating athletic injuries and a variety of physical disorders. For the first decade after its introduction practitioners in Japan were the main users of the therapeutic kinesiology tape. By 1988 the tape had been adopted by Japanese Olympic and professional athletes before spreading across the world.
You would have noticed that more and more professional athletes use kinesio- taping to improve their sporting performance, prevent injury and allow them to return to sport quicker after injury.
HOW IS KINESIO-TAPE DIFFERENT THAN FROM CONVENTIONAL TAPING?
Kinesio- tape differs from other types of sport tape in both form and function. Most types of tape are non-elastic, and are wrapped tightly around an injured joint or muscle to provide rigid support and restrict movement. They can only be worn for short periods of time, after which they must be removed to restore movement and circulation. Kinesio- tape, on the other hand, has unique elastic properties that allow it to provide dynamic support, protecting muscles and/or joints, while still allowing a safe and functional range of motion. Rather than being wrapped completely around injured joints or muscle groups, kinesio- tape is applied directly over and/or around the periphery of these areas. This non-restrictive type of taping allows most applications to be worn for 4-7 days, allowing therapeutic benefits to accumulate 24/7 for the entire time they’re worn.
Kinesiology tape can be worn during intense exercise, showering, bathing or swimming, and dries quickly after a quick pat with a towel.
WHAT CAN KINESIO-TAPE HELP WITH?
Kinesiology Tape May Help..
Acute Soft Tissue Injuries
- Muscle Weakness
- Hypotonia – Low Muscle Tone
Joint Proprioception Retraining
- Joint Alignment and tracking
- Joint instability or Hypermobility
- Poor posture: Round Shoulders, Slouched Spine
- Scapular Instability
- Post-fracture support
- Shin Splints
- Plantar Fasciitis
Swelling and Edema
- Joint Swelling
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF KINESIO-TAPING?
Kinesio-tape has a vast array of therapeutic benefits. Because kinesio- taping can usually be left on for several days or up to a week, these therapeutic benefits are available to the injured area 24 hours a day, significantly accelerating the healing process from trauma, injuries and inflammatory conditions.
Pain Relief via Structural Support for Weak or Injured Body Parts
Basically it’s flexible elastic tape that moves with your body. This provides support to your body parts without the tape slipping. You don’t need an underwrap tape with this tape.
By supporting your body part kinesio- tape is able to provide you with pain relief and muscular support to help control body parts affected by muscle inhibition.
As previously mentioned, your muscle strength may be assisted by kinesio- tape via physical assistance and tactile feedback through the skin ie: proprioception boost. This phenomenon may assist you to enhance your performance and move more freely thus aiding in healing.
Kinesio-tape provides a passive lift to your skin via its elastic properties. This vacuum effect allows your lymphatic and venous drainage systems to drain in swollen or bruised tissue quicker than without the kinesio-tape.
It is also thought that this same principle can assist the removal of exercise byproducts like lactic acid that may contribute to post-exercise soreness eg delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
HOW DO I GET TAPED?
Visit a physical therapist or trainer that has knowledge of training in kinesio-taping. You will be evaluated and the best taping technique determined for you or if taping is right for your condition. After you are taped then you can continue with your activites, training or advice given by your therapist. You may still have to ice, elevate or even limit training somewhat depending on your injury. You will wear the tape for a 4-7 days ( weather conditions like humidity may limit the wearing time) then remove. Re-taping can be done after a few days if condition is still improving and you need longer treatment.
If you are interested in getting assessed for kinesio-taping, schedule time with me and we can tape you up !