Kinesio tape - uses and benefits
Whether you’re an active sports person looking to improve your performance, or suffer from muscle weakness, aches and swelling - kinesio taping may help you recover from these conditions, without hindering your range of motion. But can tape really do all of that? See for yourself how kinesio tex tape works - read on and find out!
What is kinesio taping?
Used by either inexperienced or veteran athletes, kinesio tape, also known as kinesio tex tape is often applied in a number of sports. This therapeutic tape is used to help reduce pain and swelling, improve athletic performance, treat achilles tendonitis and ensure stability in the muscles and joints - all without limiting the wearer’s range of motion. Additional uses may include helping to retrain muscles, improve posture and protect against injuries affecting the muscles and tendons. Outside of sports, kinesio tape is also widely used to help treat other conditions, such as those affecting orthopedic and neuromuscular systems.
Although kinesio tape is known to benefit the wearer in these areas, there are a number of studies being done in order to see the limitations of health benefits provided by this solution. Some of these unconventional ways of using kinesio tape include: applying it for improving blood and lymphatic fluid flow throughout the body, changing pain pathways and reducing scarring. The effectiveness of kinesio tex tape being for these purposes is currently being tested - it’s best if you refrain from using it for these purposes.
If you suffer from certain conditions, such as open wounds, diabetes, allergies to adhesives, have fragile skin, or cancer, it is vital that you avoid utilising kinesio tex tape, especially around the affected areas. Prior to purchasing kinesio tex tape, ask your doctor for medical advice and if your condition can be treated with it.
How does kinesio tape work?
Kinesio tape functions just like your skin - it’s elastic, but at the same time, it offers resistance - as a result, it lifts your skin to a microscopic extent and may even create space in your joints, preventing arthritis pain in that area. As a support for weakened muscles (due to a lack of use), this solution keeps muscle fibers together, which forces them to contract and slowly regain their strength. Aside from tensing up a part of the body, kinesio tape can also be used to reduce muscle pressure by being taped with less tension to the affected area. As mentioned previously, this tape can be used for treating a number of conditions affecting a number of parts of the body, including the knees, achilles tendon, the feet and areas that experience pain and swelling. Applying tape incorrectly to the affected area may hinder the recovery process and possible worsen the condition, which is why you should speak to someone who has experience in applying kinesio tape.
Prior to tape application, it is vital that you first speak with a physical therapist or doctor who will help you to apply it. The tape can be applied in a Y, X, or I shape, depending on your needs. You ought to put on the tape yourself while with the medical specialist, in order for them to advise you for proper application, which will come in handy once you have to apply the tape on your own.
Before putting on the tap, you’ll be instructed on how to prepare the area for application. It’s important that your skin is cleaned, the area is free of hair and from any lotions which might keep the tape from sticking. Your doctor will instruct you on how to remove the backing paper from the kinesio tape and how to apply it without stretching it too much. When removing the tape, try to lift up a corner and make sure to to tug on it too harshly. Applying oils might help loosen it up.
What types of kinesio tape variants are there?
As you probably well know, kinesio tape comes in a variety of colors, however, there are also different variants of it as well. Aside from the vast color scheme, these tapes also come in a number of sizes, as well as for certain areas of the body, like the feet, neck, knees, back and shoulders. Prices usually start from around $10, however, buying the brand name tape is recommended, as it is the original and most reliable option. Our store offers all of the abovementioned kinesio tape options, even including equine kinesio tape, in various colors and sizes to choose from. Before purchasing a kinesio tape, speak with your physical therapist and ask which option is best for you.
FAQ - Frequently asked questions
1. How is this tape applied to the skin?
The tape is applied from one end of the affected muscle to the other, without overstretching the tape itself. However, it’s best that you speak with your physical therapist for advice on applying it yourself.
2. I’m allergic to latex - is kinesio tape latex free?
Yes - the tapes available in our store are latex free.
3. I have relatively fragile skin - can I still use taping?
It is ill-advised that you use taping with certain skin conditions, especially if you have open wounds and tears. It is best that you speak with your doctor and ask if you can use taping with your current skin condition.