What is kinesiology tape?
Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy, elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive. Therapeutic kinesiology tape that can benefit a wide variety of musculoskeletal and sports injuries, plus inflammatory conditions.
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 a treatment that 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.
Professional athletes use kinesiology taping to improve their sporting performance, prevent injury and allow them to return to sport quicker following injuries.
What are the Benefits of Kinesiology Taping?
Kinesiology tape has many 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 Injured Muscles
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.
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, minimise 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.
What Conditions can 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 hyper-mobility
Overuse Injuries - Carpal tunnel syndrome, repetitive stress syndrome, shin splints, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, tension headaches
Swelling and Oedema - Lymphodema, swollen joints, oedema, 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
Kinesiology taping is applied as part of a treatment.
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