This is an anatomical science that stresses the treatment of joints, muscles, connective tissue, and tendons, in other words, “the science of skeletal and muscular movement.” The holistic method of kinesiology tape was aimed to balance endurance, bodily health, and energy without the use of any surgery or medications.
Kinesiology sees the body as machinery that is coordinated by a complex computer (the brain) which often communicates with the thousands of muscles and other tissues found in the body.
Healthy muscles are well-balanced, while unhealthy or overstressed muscles are weak and imbalanced. Kinesiology aims to keep balance in the muscles and associate issues, and one of the techniques of doing this is by simply wrapping up the muscles and close tissues with the supportive material known as the kinesiology tape.
What Is Kinesiology Tape?
Kinesiology tape is made of breathable, fine, stretchable material, basically cotton or a cotton blend. Its elastic nature does not overly restrict the region of application, and it is made to provide just enough pressure and aid to facilitate strength in the tissues and muscles.
This tape sticks to the skin with a medically accepted, water- and sweat-proof adhesive. It appears in latex-free and hypoallergenic types for folks who may be allergic to latex. The tape can accurately stay in place for up to four days, even while exercising or showering.
Positive results have been reported to be felt within a day for many users of kinesiology tape.
How Does This Kinesiology Tape Work?
The kinesiology taping technique is based on the science of providing support to the body while allowing blood and other fluids in the body to move freely all through and around the wounded muscle. The tape stabilizes the injured area by mildly adhering to the skin and applying some pressure to the tissues under the wrapped tape.
This tape lets the connective tissue around the affected tendon or muscle move along with the body. It gently lets the free circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid wipe and heals the inflammation without any use of medications or surgery.
This special kinesiology tape helps to support muscles, improve circulation, allow healing of internal injury, and help avert further muscle injury while still letting motion.
Health Benefits Of Kinesiology Tape
1) Prevents Fatigue
Preventing fatigue in athletic performance is a benefit of kinesiology tape. Fatigue is among the most significant predictors of wounds/injury. It is a major motive why athletes get injured toward the end of athletic competition or race. Suppose a runner claims that their hamstrings get fatigued in the second half of a marathon. In that case, one can apply tape on their synergist muscles (glutes and calves) and hamstrings to provide support and prevent fatigue.
2) Reduces Pain
The main use of Kinesiology tape is to treat musculoskeletal pain conditions like:
• Shin splints
• Ankle sprains
• Back pain
• Tennis elbow
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
By applying the tape on the skin over the affected joint, muscle, or soft tissue, the tape activates some actual nerve endings in the skin designed to sense joint position and motion. When signals from the nerve endings get to the spinal cord, they inhibit the capability of signals from wounded tissues to reach the brain. This mechanism is widely recognized as the Gate Control Theory of pain, control in the sense that the signals from the tape ‘close the gate’ and do not let potential pain-triggering signals pass.
3) Treating Injuries
Physical therapists most times use kinesiology taping as a part of a general treatment plan for folks who have been injured. The American Physical Therapy Association claims that kinesiology taping is most helpful when it is used together with other treatments such as manual therapy.
4) Supporting Weak Zones
Kinesiology tape is used to add additional support to joints or muscles that need it. Should you have band friction syndrome, patellofemoral stress syndrome, or Achilles tendonitis, using kinesiology taping might help you.
Unlike white athletic or medical tape, kinesiology tape allows you to move normally. Some research studies show that it can facilitate movement and endurance. Researches on athletes have shown that when the tape is used on fatigued muscles, athletic performance improves.
5) Re-Educating Muscles
The tape can also help retrain muscles that are no longer functional or that have gotten accustomed to an unhealthy way of working.
For example, the taping method can be used to correct posture in the head and neck. A 2017 study supports the use of the tape to help stroke patients better the way they walk.
Physical therapists suggest this may be because get the strange sensation of tape on the skin can make one more aware of how he is moving or standing.
6) Enhancing Performance
Some athletes use this taping method to help them achieve the best performance and protect themselves against injury when they are struggling in special events.
A lot of runners make use of this tape every time they run a marathon. They sometimes use the tape along the glute as a means of activating the muscle and reminding it to continue working.
7) Helps Strengthen Correct Motor Patterns To Generate Better Habitual Movement
Kinesiology taping is often used in athletic performance through its outcome on proprioception: the capability to detect the body’s movement and position. Whether you are trying to enhance shoulder blade position during swimming, it prevents your knees from collapsing inward during the performance of a squat or keeping an upright posture while running, kinesiology athletic taping gives you a better understanding of your affected body part.
The feedback helps to strengthen correct motor patterns until the peak strategy is learned and becomes habitual. Unlike other rigid forms of tape, for instance, Kinesiology tape is not made to halt movement mechanically. Instead, it directs movement and enhances proprioception through its remarkable effect on the nervous system.
8) Enhances The Body’s Fascial Lines
One of the latest uses of Kinesiology tape is to tape the ‘fascial lines.’ We ought to know that muscles do not work in isolation but instead function in chains linked by fascia to move the body. Various fascial lines span from head to toe, spiral all around the legs and arms, and cross the torso. These lines shape intricate patterns that can be improved by tape. This use of tape is common in athletes, whether enhancing their swimming stroke, throwing motion, or kicking pattern.
Research has proved that taping for athletic performance and pain should be used with other approaches for the best outcomes. Corrective exercise has proved the most beneficial and may be suggested by a movement-oriented physical therapist, chiropractor, or trainer.
9) Reduces Fluid Build Up And Improves Flow
Enhancing fluid dynamics was the main reason why Dr. Kase originally invented the kinesiology tape. He discovered that if you could lift the skin and other folds of soft tissue using tape, then fluid would be allowed to leave and move through the lymphatic system. Ever since then, this therapeutic tape has been used to manage lymphedema, an accumulation of fluid when the lymphatic system is not performing well. Taping for fluid dynamics has also been used to cure bruising using the ‘fan’ technique. By shredding the tape into strips and applying it to the skin in a weave pattern, you can clear up a bruise over a couple of days.
10) Doesn’t Restrict Mobility
An additional merit of Kinesiology tapes includes the fact that it does not restrict movement and allows for full mobility. It can be carried for up to five days, which prolongs its therapeutic effects of lower pain, enhancing muscle function, and boosting fluid dynamics and circulation. The tape can also be worn in the shower and exercise periods without compromise. It can be shred into specific lengths depending on the fascial line or body part being treated.
When Not to Tape
There is some situation in which kinesiology tape should never be used. These include the following;
• Open wounds. Using the tape over a wound may lead to infection or skin injury.
• Deep vein thrombosis. Increased fluid flow could trigger a blood clot to dislodge, which might be very fatal.
• Active cancer. Increased blood supply to a cancerous tissue could be dangerous.
• Lymph node removal. Increase fluid where a node is absent could cause swelling.
• Diabetes. If you have lowered sensation in some parts, you might not feel a reaction to the tape.
• Allergy. If your skin is too sensitive to adhesives, it could also trigger a strong reaction.
• Fragile skin. If your skin is bound to tear, you should also avoid placing the tape on it.