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.