What is it?
You may have seen this colorful tape on athletes in the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics and thought to yourself what is it and why are they wearing so many different designs of it? This tape is called Kinesio Tape and it is actually a rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body’s own natural healing process. This specific type of tape provides support and stability to muscles and joints, while still allowing the body’s full range of motion unlike traditional white athletic tape.
Why is it used?
Muscles constantly extend and contract within a normal range of motion but when muscles over-extend and over-contract, such as when lifting an excessive amount of weight, muscles cannot recover on their own and become inflamed. When a muscle is inflamed, swollen, and/or stiff due to fatigue, the space between the skin and muscle is compressed. This compression of the skin, fascia, and muscle causes a restriction in lymphatic and nutrient flow and causes a decrease in the length of the muscle. This compression also applies pressure to the pain receptors beneath the skin causing what is known as "myalgia" or muscular pain.
How does it work?
This tape targets different receptors in the muscles that it is applied over, helping to alleviate pain and facilitate lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin away from the soft tissue below it. This lifting affects the skin by increasing interstitial space and allowing for a decrease in inflammation of the affected area, accelerates healing and recovery, and allows room for the muscle to stretch and lengthen.
What is it used for?
This tape can be used to reduce pain and inflammation, relax overused tired muscles, and to support muscles in movement throughout the day. It is non-restrictive type of taping which allows for full range of motion. This tape can be used anything from headaches to foot problems and everything in between. Examples include: muscular facilitation or inhibition in pediatric patients, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back strain/pain (subluxations, herniated disc), knee conditions, shoulder conditions, hamstring, groin injury, rotator cuff injury, whiplash, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, patella tracking, pre and post surgical edema, ankle sprains, athletic preventative injury method, and as a support method.