Kinesio Tape. What is it?!
Kinesiology tape is a ‘magic’ thin, stretchy, elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive. It can benefit a wide variety of musculoskeletal and sports injuries, plus inflammatory conditions. There a variety of brands of kinesiology tape, all very similar, some have stronger adhesive for wearing whilst swimming for example, and all come in a huge variety of colours and designs. The one in particular I get on well with and use, is RockTape.
It is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows the kinesiology tape to be worn without binding, constricting or restricting your movement. By supporting your body part/s, kinesiology tape is able to provide you with pain relief and muscular support to help control body parts affected by muscle inhibition.
More and more professional athletes use kinesiology taping improve their sporting performance, prevent injury and allow them to return to sport quicker.
Kinesiology tape differs from other types of strapping tape in both form and function. Most types of strapping 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.
Because kinesiology taping can usually be left on for several days or up to a week, these therapeutic benefits are available to the injured or weak area 24 hours a day, significantly accelerating the healing process from trauma, injuries and inflammatory conditions, even whilst you sleep. Kinesiology tape can be worn during intense exercise, showering, bathing or swimming, and dries quickly after a quick pat with a towel.
Rather than being wrapped completely around injured joints or muscle groups, kinesiology tape is applied directly over and/or around the periphery of these areas. Your muscle strength may be assisted by kinesiology tape via physical assistance and tactile feedback through the skin, with a proprioception boost. This phenomenon may assist both the able bodied athlete to enhance their performance and the hypotonic (people with low muscle tone).
Kinesiology tape provides a passive lift to your skin via its elastic properties. This sub-dermal vacuum effect allows your lymphatic and venous drainage systems to drain and for swollen or bruised tissue quicker than without the 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 (DOMS). You can partially replicate this vacuum effect by holding your skin and lightly pulling together your fingers. The result will be an "orange-peel" appearance, loose skin and space below your skin for the swelling drainage to occur.
The comprehensive variety of benefits of Kinesiology tape can aid treatment of
Acute Soft Tissue Injuries such as Muscle Strains, Ligament Sprains, Bruising or Haematoma
Muscle Facilitation such as Muscle Weakness and Hypotonia - Low Muscle Tone
Joint Proprioception Retraining - Joint Alignment and Maltracking, Joint instability or Hypermobility
Poor Posture such as Rounded Shoulders or a Slouched Spine & Scapular Instability (SICK)
Bone Injuries such as Post-fracture support, Teno-periosteal support for example, shin splints and Adolescent Growing Pains
Tendonpathies such as Tendonitis and Tendonosis
Fasciopathies like Plantar Fasciitis
Systemic Conditions like Osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Psoriatic Arthritis, Lupus and Fibromyalgia
Swelling and Edema - Lymphoedema and Joint Swelling
Pregnancy symptoms including back pain, swollen feet, sciatica, carpal tunnel, and other aches and pains
More recently, kinesiology tape is being used to address similar dysfunctions in animals; horses and dogs in particular.
If I can help you with an injury, dysfunction or condition with application of RockTape, please get in touch.