How Does Kinesiology Tape Work?
Similar to many sports rehabilitation treatment options, kinesiology tape began to boom in popularity after we all saw Olympic athletes covered in the strange, colorful, stretchy tape.
The newfound popularity morphed into curiosity from the general public.
Could this simple alternative to classic taping help me?
What is kinesiology tape?
Kinesiology tape has actually been around since the 70’s, but only became popular in the public eye in the last decade or so. Compared to classic athletic tape, which is made of cotton and rigid enough that it claims to stabilize joints, kinesiology tape is stretchy and can be cut and laid down with different techniques to fit most issues.
The tape itself is safe for most (unless you have some minor allergic reaction to the adhesive) and can be used for countless issues.
Over the last few years, brands like Rocktape, KinesioTape, and SpiderTech, have risen in popularity with their tape and other similar products that you may see in healthcare offices and sporting goods stores.
We’re not here to promote one brand over another, but most of these are fairly similar in style and function.
Problems kinesiology tape can help
Ailments that kinesiology tape are usually called on to assist with are endless.
Some of the more common issues may include any soft tissue overuse injury, muscle strains, sprains, inflammation, contusions, and other similar injuries.
If you are reading this and that sounds like you, chances are that kinesiology tape could be one option to improve your outcome.
Benefits of kinesiology tape
This is where things can get a little fuzzy. Depending on the brand, or the source, you may have seen all sorts of claims on the benefits of kinesiology tape.
Some of these claims include, but are not limited to:
• Promote the body’s “natural healing processes”
• Support and stabilize joints
• Improve strength and performance
• Reduce inflammation
• Decompress fascia and allow for better movement amongst tissues
• Reduce pain and prevent injury
I’m not here to try and refute a lot of these broad claims, because while kinesiology tape may not help you run faster and jump higher, ( I mean it’s not a pair of brand new PF Flyers, Sandlot fans in the house?) it can help with a few things.
When applied properly, it MAY assist in the decrease of swelling through compression. Because of the pressure and tension, the tape can be applied with, it helps to desensitize pain from musculoskeletal injuries.
In the same way that classic athletic tape doesn’t really provide significant support to a joint, people report feeling more “stable” while wearing kinesiology tape.
The tape may enhance your brain’s feeling of stability when some sort of injury is present. Think strain/sprain here.
Your body will protect the area at all costs, and kinesiology tape can help reduce the perceived threat.
So, while kinesiology tape won’t “cure” your overuse injury, it can definitely assist in making the process a little more efficient and comfortable.
While you may have seen all sorts of crazy designs, you definitely won’t hurt yourself by applying the tape “wrong”.
With that said, here at Tangelo, our docs have been trained and understand how to apply kinesiology tape efficiently to get the most out of it.
Like I mentioned earlier, the tape itself most likely won’t be the bulk of your treatment/rehab. We like to use it in conjunction with other treatments and an appropriate exercise/rehab plan to get the most out of it.
If you’re interested in hearing more about how kinesiology tape could assist in your recovery, we would love to hear from you and assist in any way we can.