You may have seen strips of black or colored tape on people at the gym or at your chiropractor’s or physical therapist’s offices. What you have seen is likely kinesiology tape, a therapeutic treatment used to help support muscles and joints as well as reduce swelling and pain.
This product has been around since the late 1970s. It was originally called Kinesio tape, but today there are more than 50 brands available on the market. There are some specific properties of this tape that make it not only suitable but beneficial for athletes and those recovering from injury.
Here’s an answer to the question, “What is the purpose of kinesiology tape?” and some information to help you learn how to use kinesiology tape
What is kinesiology tape used to treat?
One of the most common uses for kinesiology tape is treating injuries. It can be a helpful part of a treatment plan used in conjunction with other therapies. It has been shown to help mitigate swelling and pain, which can also help improve mindset for the patient to focus on recovery in addition to relieving stress.
It’s also helpful for supporting weak zones in the body. This includes muscles or joints that have been worked to exhaustion by an athlete in training or by weekend warriors who are trying to stay in shape or improve their physical fitness level. Some athletes claim that kinesiology tape improves their performance in competition, as it helps wake up the muscles they are using.
How kinesiology tape works
Kinesiology tape is stretchy and is designed to mimic the elasticity of our own skin. It comprises a blend of cotton and nylon to allow us to use our full range of motion. The material and adhesive are also water resistant and can stay on for half a week, even during workouts and showers.
It works by recoiling just a little bit when applied to your body correctly. This gently lifts the skin and creates a little space between your skin and the tissues beneath it. It does the same for joints, such as the knee or shoulder, which can help reduce the pain or joint irritation.
Exactly how it does this needs more study, but it could be due to a change in the way your nervous system senses and sends signals about pain and compression when kinesiology tape is applied. By lifting the skin from the tissue underneath, this decompression may change the signals your brain receives, and you may feel less tension in those trigger points.
How to use kinesiology tape
There is a certain way that kinesiology tape needs to be applied in order to work properly. There are a few patterns that work well, including X, Y, I or fan patterns. There are also different strips for stabilization and decompression.
It’s best to have kinesiology tape applied by an experienced physical therapist. For expert advice and physical therapy, including how to use kinesiology tape, contact Focus Forward Wellness & Physical Therapy today.
Categorised in: Physical Therapy
This post was written by Writer