Developed by Japanese chiropractor, Kenzo Kaze in the late 70’s, Kinesio Tapes are becoming quite popular among athletes and sports personalities. These colorful tapes of pink, blue and black shades can usually be seen strapped to the shoulders and ankles of players. This leads most people to wonder as to their utility and efficiency.
Kinesio tapes are elastic fabric like tapes used by physiotherapist and kinesiology specialists to heal and prevent injuries. As kinesiology is the study of the mechanics of body movements, Kinesio Taping is a procedure that is used to optimize the movement of muscles and increase their elasticity.
Here’s everything you need to know about the efficacy and benefits of Kinesio taping:
What is a Kinesio Tape?
Kinesio Tape is a skinny and highly flexible tape made of thin, porous cotton. This is not an ordinary tape and has great elasticity. The tape is attached to the injured or aching part of the muscle using water-repellant, medicinal grade, acrylic glue. The glue is quite resilient and can stick to your muscles easily for a duration of 3-4 days. This thin tape attaches directly to your tissues and doesn’t wear off while washing and sweating.
How does it work?
Taping injured areas is a technique that has been in use for a long time. However, when injured or sore muscles are draped with a normal adhesive tape or a bandage, it can actually cause more harm than healing. A regular tape constricts the movement of your muscles, causing the pressure on the nearby tendons and tissues to increase. The tape also restricts the circulation of the swathed area, causing it to inflate and blister.
Kinesio taping on the other hand, uses a tape that attaches directly to the tissues in your muscles and has an elasticity similar to your muscles. The tape makes your sore muscles stretch further than they can, enhancing the flow of lymphatic fluid through your nerves, which in turn speeds your recovery process.
Kinesio Taping works in 4 ways:
How to use Kinesio Taping?
Although, you can easily purchase a Kinesio tape online, it’s crucial that you do not apply it on your own. If not applied correctly, a Kinesio tape can actually harm your muscles instead of healing them. You should always refer an expert Physiotherapist or Kinesio specialist before you apply the tape.
A PT carefully examines your sore or injured muscles and then cuts the tape in an I, X or Y shape depending on the area of your injury. Make sure the hurt area is cleaned properly and devoid of any oil or dirt. The tape is then applied in a direction that is specific to every injury.
When to use it?
From headaches and knee pains to chronic ailments like carpal tunnel syndrome, Kinesio taping aids anyone experiencing muscle pain. Kinesio Tapes are especially beneficial for athletes, sports players or people who participate in intense physical activity every day. A Kinesio tape not only supports the athlete’s muscles, but it also increases their flexibility which in turn enhances their performance.
If you experience ache or pain in any part of your body, consult your PT about benefits of kinesio taping. These tapes help your injured body part in healing and also make sure you carry on with your daily activities, pain free.
As the winters take their final turn, it’s just the time for skate boarders and ice skiers to enjoy their finishing round on the ice. After all, who doesn’t winter sports? Winter sports help you stay fit by maintaining good blood circulation and muscle activity during the cold weather.
But, these wintertime activities also bring in a range of injuries and mishaps. Slip and fall accidents during winter sports are quite common. These injuries can be quite painful due to the sharp cold. However, utilizing some simple physio tips you can minimize these accidents greatly.
Here are a few simple physiotherapy tips for winter sports that let you play this season, with ease:
Work on Your Balance
Good balance is necessary for you to play winter sports, well and without any injuries. Be it skating on thin ice or skiing through a plush blanket of snow, balance is the key to perform well. Easy balance exercises like one-legged squats, heel toed walking can help you improve your balancing skills. You can also try walking on a log or standing still with your eyes closed to increase your poise. Equipment like balancing boards or agility ladders are helpful too.
Shoveling is a great exercise to stay fit during the winters. Shoveling snow requires a lot of strength and elasticity. It helps you stretch the muscles in your lower back, shoulders, legs and spine. However, this cardiovascular workout should be performed with care especially when the ground is slippery. Always consult a good PT, before you pick up that shovel. Perform some stretching and maintain a straight posture throughout. Take frequent breaks if necessary. Bend your knees while lifting.
Strengthen the Core
The stamina of your spinal muscles determines the strength of your core and gives your body the proper alignment it needs. Correct alignment is essential to be able to perform well during winter sports. Core reinforcement exercises such as planks and pushups, go a long way in maintaining the right alignment you need in order to avoid injuries.
Stretch Before Play
Call it a rule of thumb. Never start skiing or skating without stretching your muscles and warming up your body first. A quick warm up eases the circulation of the blood in your limbs and braces your muscles for the intense physical activities that are involved with winter sports.
Brace Your Muscles
Sports of any kind need your muscles to be strong and flexible. When these sports are played during winter, your muscles need extra strength and elasticity. Exercises like lunges and squats help you brace your body for the cold. Long jogs and hill climbs are also help in building your muscle strength. You can also try activity specific training with your PT to devise a perfect exercise routine to limber up your muscles before you start playing.
Keep these basic physiotherapy tips for winter sports in mind while skiing this season. If you start experiencing pain and fatigue while playing, immediately consult a good PT to avoid any serious damage to your physique.