Kinesiology tape is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows kinesio tape to be worn without binding, constricting or restriction of your movement.
Kinesiology 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 kinesiology taping improve their sporting performance, prevent injury and allow them to return to sport quicker.
What are the Benefits of Kinesiology Taping?
Kinesiology tape has a comprehensive array of therapeutic benefits. Because it can be left on for up to 5 days, these therapeutic benefits are available to the injured area 24 hours a day, significantly accelerating the healing process from trauma, injuries and inflammatory conditions.
1. Pain Relief
Kinesiology taping relieves pain through both physical and neurological mechanisms. The lifting action of the tape relieves pressure on pain receptors directly under the skin, allowing for quick relief from acute injuries. Chronic pain is affected through sensory stimulation of other types of nerve fibres This is especially effective for pain that persists after an injury has healed or for pain that is out of proportion to the severity of an injury.
2. Reduced Swelling, Inflammation and Bruising
Reduced pressure on the lymphatic drainage channels enhances the removal of fluids and other materials that collect in an injured area. This applies not only to sports injuries, but to other inflammatory conditions, including the extreme swelling of lymphodema.
3. Prevention or Relief from Spasms and Cramping
Enhanced circulation to working muscles helps deliver oxygen and nutrients at the cellular level as well as accelerate the removal of waste products. Both of these mechanisms can help prevent or relieve spasms and cramps in overused or injured muscles.
4. Speedier Recovery of Overused Muscles
Fatigued, overused muscles contain byproducts of exercise (such as lactic acid) that contribute to pain and stiffness and limit the ability to continue exercising. When kinesiology tape is used over these areas, enhanced removal of these byproducts allows for more rapid recovery. This could translate into improved performance in endurance events or more complete recovery between repetitive, high intensity events.
5. Structural Support for Weak or Injured Body Parts
The unique elastic properties of kinesiology tape allow it to provide support to an injured muscle or joint, discouraging harmful movements while still allowing a safe, healthy range of motion.
6. Enhanced Strength and Muscle Tone in Weak or
Loss of strength or muscle tone can result from pain, injury or a variety of neurological or muscular disorders. In these situations, the weakness can interfere with the ability to do the exercises that are critical to recovery or improving daily functioning. Kinesiology tape not only provides support to these areas, but it can also improve neurological muscle activation, allowing therapeutic exercises to be carried out more effectively. One of the major uses in this category is with infants and young children with hypotonia, poor muscle tone that limits their ability to learn to sit up, crawl, etc.
7. Allows Athletes to Remain Active while Injured:
This is one of the most important benefits of kinesiology tape for competitive athletes. Injuries can be taped to relieve pain, minimize inflammation and provide support for injured structures, without compromising a healthy range of motion. Except in the case of severe injuries, this can allow athletes to continue training and/or competing as their injuries heal.
How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling?
How does Kinesiology Taping reduce Swelling and Bruising?
The profound effects Kinesiology tape has on pain, inflammation and performance are related solely to its physical interaction with the skin and the neurosensory receptors in the skin. Kinesiology tape contains no medications or analgesic ingredients.
The unique properties of kinesiology tape combined with kinesiology taping techniques allow it to affect the body in ways that cannot be duplicated by any other form of sports tape.
Following is a simplified explanation of the major mechanisms of action:
When a muscle or joint is overused or injured, that area becomes inflamed or swollen. This swelling is composed of blood (internal bleeding from the injury) and other fluids. The excess fluid should be removed by the lymphatic vessels in the area, but if the inflammation is great enough, the lymphatic vessels get compressed and can’t do their job. This can lead to an ongoing cycle of inflammation and pain, which limits performance and slows the healing process.
When kinesiology tape is applied to the skin over an inflamed area, the stretch in the tape gently lifts the skin, creating a space between the skin and the tissues below. This creates an area of negative pressure, allowing both blood vessels and lymphatic vessels to dilate (open), increasing the circulation of both fluids.
Improved blood flow enhances delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the injured tissues, accelerating the healing process. When lymphatic vessels dilate, the fluid that has collected in the injured area can drain away. This reduces swelling, which relieves pressure on the pain receptors providing immediate pain relief.
Additional mechanisms that also come into play involve an intricate interplay between the body’s sensory system, neurological system and muscular system.
The ongoing, low level sensory stimulation from the tape on the skin activates pain gating mechanisms that assist in the relief of chronic pain.
They also allow restoration of normal muscle activation, restoring strength and mobility in muscles that may have been inhibited by pain or injury.
What Conditions Does Kinesiology Tape Help?
|Joint Pain||Arthritis, bursitis, lupus, degenerative joints, poorly aligned joints, joint instability|
|Muscle Pain||Torn muscles, pulled/strained muscles, tight muscles, fibromyalgia, muscle spasms, muscle cramps, calf strain, pulled hamstring, groin strain, strained gluteals, abdominal strain|
|Soft Tissue Injuries||Tendinitis, tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis), golfers elbow (medial epicondylitis), patellar tendinitis, Achilles tendonitis, whiplash, back strain, neck strain, rotator cuff injuries, iliotibial band syndrome (ITB)|
|Joint Injuries||Joint sprains, dislocated joints, sprained ankle, sprained knee, sprained wrist, sprained elbow, degenerated meniscus, torn cartilage, unstable joints, joint hypermobility|
|Overuse Injuries||Carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress syndrome, shin splints, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, tension headaches|
|Swelling and Edema||Lymphodema, swollen joints, edema, lymphatic congestion, chronic joint or muscle inflammation|
|Postural Problems||Poor posture, round shoulders, scapular instability, muscle weakness, muscle imbalance, poor muscle tone, hypotonia|
|Recovery from Surgery||Athletic injury surgery, reconstructive surgery, joint replacement surgery, meniscus repair, ligament surgery, tendon surgery, lymph node removal|
|Bruising||Bruising following injuries or surgery, contusions|
|Foot Pain||Plantar fasciitis, fallen arches|