If you’ve ever watched a volleyball game in the Olympics, or perhaps seen a competitive bicycle race, you may have noticed that the athletes’ have strips of colorful tape, kinesio tape, stretched across their shoulders, knees, backs, or calves. This therapeutic tape is applied strategically to the body to provide support, lessen pain, reduce swelling, and improve performance in athletes.
While it may look simple, there are several different taping techniques, combinations, and tension strengths that have to be applied above specific muscles or joints. Having a professional who is familiar with the anatomy of the body is key when applying kinesio tape appropriately. Taping yourself is also difficult, especially if your injury is in a hard to reach area. At Kinetic Living, we take a look at the big picture when it comes to movement. This is a part of the assessment and treatment plan process at our clinic. Kinesiotaping is applied in a meticulous manner to assist and aid in recovery.
What is Kinesio Tape Made Of?
Kinesiotape is made to be very stretchy. The creator of Kinesiotape designed the therapeutic treatment with a blend of cotton and nylon. It mimics the natural elasticity of skin while being both breathable and comfortable. It stays anchored through a medical-grade adhesive that is water-resistant, and tough enough to withstand up to five days of wear-and-tear (so you can swim and even shower with it on!) When the tape is applied to the shoulders, knees, back, or calves it will recoil slightly. This recoil will gently lift the skin, which helps to create a microscopic space between your skin and the tissues underneath it.
How Does Kinesio Tape Work?
- It increases the space in between joints. Even though the increase in space is slight, it helps reduce the chance of joint irritation after an injury, when exercising or completing a sport.
- Proprioception: The information in your nervous system is changed. All of your tissues contain sensory receptors that feel pain, temperature, and touch that help with your body’s awareness in space. The therapeutic aspects of kinesiotape change the information your nervous system is sending about pain and compression in your body.
- It creates a lift that decompresses. Kinesiotaping creates a lift that decompresses the underlying tissues, it stimulates the pain receptors in a different way, to help alleviate the pain experienced.
- Improves circulation of blood and fluids. The site where an injury has occured may cause swelling and inflammation. Kinesiotaping can improve blood flow and improve circulation of lymphatic fluids by creating extra space under the skin, creating better circulation.
- It reduces inflammation. Kinesio Tape can be applied in a certain way to assist with inflammation reduction due to swelling from injuries such as sprains, strains and bruising which helps with injury recovery time!
What Is Kinesio Taping Used For?
Kinesiotape can provide therapeutic relief to a variety of issues. Kinesiotaping at Kinetic Living, if needed, is included as part of the treatment as an additional therapy. After going through an assessment with your chiropractor, a treatment plan will be advised that may include kinesiotaping to aid with your injury.
Treat Your Injuries
At Kinetic Living, kinesiotaping is used to help treat those who have suffered injuries and need additional support. While it’s most common application is athletic injuries – those around the ankles, knees, shoulders, and even the neck – it can also be used for sprains, muscle strains, subluxations, and tendonitis. With its use as a low-level stabilization technique, it helps to get the injured limb or body part back into a supportive role. When Kinetic Living’s trained therapist applies kinesiotape to the right area, they ensure that your injury will be properly treated. Inflammation of the area is reduced overall, giving the injury a chance to be fully restored and heal properly.
Support Your Weak Zones
Kinesiology tape is used to add extra support to muscles or joints that need it. If you have conditions such as Achilles tendonitis, patellofemoral stress syndrome or IT band friction syndrome, kinesio taping at Kinetic Living can help you. Kinetic Living knows that if you’ve been dealing with any of these conditions, you are also at risk of further injuries as well. For this reason, having a trained chiropractor, massage therapist or acupuncturist at Kinetic Living apply kinesiotape to the outside of the ankle in the correct manner will help the muscles and joints to heal in the appropriate way.
Retrain Your Muscles
Kinesiotaping can help retrain muscles that have decreased their function due to injury or that have become used to an unhealthy way of movement such as poor posture. Adding strips to the back of the neck, the head or other parts of the body to fix poor posture helps to activate these muscles as a reminder for you to utilize them. Research has shown that using kinesio taping can aid in stroke recovery as you work to retrain the damaged nerves and muscles, with the additional support of the kinesio tape.
Enhance Your Performance
Some athletes use kinesiology taping to help them achieve peak performance and protect against injury when they’re competing in special events. Since the classic white medical or athletic tape is extremely restrictive, for those who wish to not have their range of motion limited, kinesiotape is the best choice. In fact, some studies have shown that it can enhance both movement and endurance. Studies on athletes have shown that when kinesio tape is used on fatigued muscles, performance improves! For example, for runners, placing kinesio tape on the calf muscles, hamstrings or quadricep muscles pain and inflammation decreases which helps get you across that finish line!
Manage Your Scars
While using Kinesiotaping on an open wound is not recommended, there is some scientific evidence to suggest that kinesio tape improves the appearance of post-injury or post-surgical scars long term. It is recommended that you contact us and speak with one of Kinetic Living’s certified therapists to see how this treatment can assist with ongoing healing.
What Should I Do If I Have an injury?
If you have been injured and are needing kinesiotape to be applied, we recommend that you should not push yourself and stick to regular health checkups and appointments until the injury is fixed. This is also applicable to treatments for any other health concerns kinesio taping is being used for.
How Much Does This Cost?
Kinesio Taping is included as part of the treatment therapy at Kinetic Living. As such, there is no additional cost for kinesio taping, as it is applied in conjunction with active release technique soft tissue therapy, intramuscular stimulation, adjusting and other treatment techniques.
Interested in the flexible support of kinesiotaping? Contact Kinetic Living to book a spotlight or overhaul session with one of our manual therapists today – we’re here to keep you moving!