Kinesiology Tape: An Introduction

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kinesiology tape

What is Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiology tape is a tape used to support musculoskeletal and sports injuries; if you watch sports on TV you may have seen athletes with brightly coloured tape on their joints. It is a thin, stretchy cotton strip with an adhesive back which behaves almost identically to human skin, so this makes it ideal for supporting injuries. It can be worn without binding or constricting the body, and without restricting movement. Many professional athletes use kinesiology tape not only to support an existing injury but also to prevent injury and even to improve performance.

How is Kinesiology Tape Different from Strapping?

Conventional strapping tape is non-elastic, and is usually wrapped fairly tightly around an injured joint or muscle so as to provide support and restrict movement. Because of this, strapping tape can only be worn for a short amount of time and must be removed in order to allow movement and circulation.
Kinesiology tape is different because it is elastic and allows a safe and functional range of movement while providing dynamic support.
While strapping tape is usually wrapped around an injury, kinesiology tape is applied over or around the affected area, and can often be worn for four or five days. This allows the therapeutic benefit to remain constant and accumulate over that time. It can be worn while exercising, swimming and washing and dries quickly afterwards.

What can Kinesiology Tape be Used For?

Kinesiology tape has many different applications, including acute soft tissue injuries, muscle facilitation, bone, tendon or fascia injuries, swelling and more. We can use kinesiology tape to help with poor posture or scapular instability, muscle or ligament strains, muscle weakness, tendonitis or plantar fasciitis. Essentially, if you have any sort of ache or pain, it’s worth looking into whether kinesiology tape could help; it’s very versatile!

Can Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling and Bruising?

When applied to the skin, kinesiology tape actually lifts the skin away from the swollen tissue beneath it. This creates a vacuum beneath the skin which helps your lymphatic drainage system to work more efficiently and can reduce both swelling and bruising.

What are the Benefits of Kinesiology Taping?

Kinesiology tape has several therapeutic benefits. Because the tape can be left on for several days, an injury benefits from twenty-four-hour care rather than intermittent assistance and this can significantly accelerate the healing process.
By supporting the affected body part kinesiology can help to relieve pain and provide muscular support which can improve performance.
Kinesiology tape can also help with swelling and bruising as mentioned above. It has also been suggested that the way kinesiology tape lifts the skin and aids with the reduction of swelling may also assist in the removal of lactic acid and other exercise by-products which contribute to post-exercise soreness.

Kinesiology tape can play an important role in recovery from many sports injuries – but it is important to ensure it is applied correctly. Incorrectly applied kinesiology tape could do more harm than good so it is always worth consulting with a professional who will be able to talk through your options and help you decide the best course of action for your particular situation.

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