You have seen people wearing the sometimes colorful, stretchy tape that goes in all directions. Is it a fashion statement or does the kinesiology tape have advantages? Let’s dive in.
While it seems like just another fad in the sports world, kinesiology tape (or kinesio tape, or KT tape) is a therapeutic tool that is used for a variety of health-related purposes. Jillyan Long, Licensed Physiotherapist Assistant at Physical Therapy Specialists of Tulsa, explains: “Kinesio taping uses specially designed elastic tape on the body for a variety of purposes, such as: B. Pain relief, decompression and neuromuscular re-education on the sensory level. ”
And KT tape is not limited to just athletes or any application and can be used for many purposes. “There’s a huge list of potential uses for therapeutic tape,” Long says. From added stability and support to reducing the swelling of a joint after an injury, and it doesn’t stop there.
Many ligament users can increase mobility, improve lymph flow, improve recovery, promote proper form and posture, and prevent or treat many common muscle and joint injuries. It provides support, pain relief before, during, and after activities, and is even used as a lower back support for pregnant women.
The space-creating advantages of KT tape
The special thing about kinesiology tape is that it has the same elasticity as our skin. Abbey Denaro, DC, owner and chiropractor at Denaro Chiropractic in North Reading, MA, explains: “When the tape is put on, you will find that the tape is wrinkled. It will essentially become another layer of skin, and the tape will wrinkle the skin. ”
This is where the magic happens. “This creates space between the skin and the muscles, fascia, and soft tissues underneath,” she adds.
This extra space is beneficial for three reasons:
- “It allows for increased blood and lymph circulation, and for healing to take place, proper blood flow to the tissue must be ensured,” says Denaro. “The increased blood flow under the ligament promotes healing.” This is why the extra space the tape creates is so important. The lymphatic system is responsible for moving fluid and swelling, so the tape removes inflammation from the affected area.
- The second benefit of the extra space is that the fabrics slide better on top of each other. “When muscles, fasciae and other soft tissues have improved gliding and gliding, mobility and freedom of movement are positively influenced,” says Denaro. This can be an overall big improvement in daily activities from the gym to your job.
- Finally, “the third benefit of creating space is that pain receptors are decompressed so that the individual can function with less pain,” says Denaro. Essentially creating a better quality of life, especially when dealing with pain.
Who should take you in?
Although you can buy KT tapes online and at many stores, Long strongly recommends that you see a professional if you are ready to be included. “Typically, these taping methods are used in conjunction with an individual training or rehabilitation program,” explains Long.
Before placing your order, you should be aware that there is more to the taping process than just tapping on it. “For this reason, the taping method certification courses are offered as continuing education courses for health and fitness professionals.” So it can be done properly and effectively.
While chiropractors, physical therapists, and certified personal trainers are most likely to apply the tape, Denaro explains that you might be able to do it yourself, as long as you know how and where to use it. “The patients can be instructed in the procedure by their doctor or trainer,” says Denaro. If you are itching to take in yourself, make sure you have proper training and guidance as you move forward.
KT adhesive tape can be attached improperly
This is something you want to get right, and Long explains that if you do it yourself, KT tape will not be properly attached. “If you’re not very familiar with your anatomy, you can inadvertently encourage incorrect biomechanical patterns by placing the tape strips in areas you don’t want to lighten.” This is another reason to seek out a professional for its application or guidance.
Long adds, “Extreme tension on the tape or using too large a portion can cause skin irritation and blistering, which creates a bigger problem than it originally was.”
When should I say NO to KT tape?
The therapeutic tape can be used on a wide variety of people, but there are times when it should be avoided. “If you have very sensitive or fragile skin, I would suggest trying another alternative,” says Long. Contacting a professional who can guide you in a different direction of therapy will ensure that your problems are resolved.
Leaning on the hairy side may need to avoid sticking it or grab some shaving cream. “Those with a lot of hair on their arms and legs may notice that the tape isn’t sticking as it should, so you can’t take advantage of the tape because it can’t reach your skin,” says Long. And we now know that a secure contact between the tape and the skin is crucial in order to be able to take advantage of all the advantages of the tape.
These other contraindications need to be considered before reaching for the tape, explains Denaro. “Avoid taping an open wound near an infection if you have deep vein thrombosis, adhesive allergies, or sensitive skin during active cancer treatments and heart failure.” She adds. Consultation with a professional before recording will avoid unnecessary applications.
Perhaps it is time to jump into the “band pull” as it has many benefits and we don’t blame you. It’s not a complete solution, but with its many benefits, Long believes taping is a great addition to your fitness lifestyle. “The next time you are injured or need a benefit for an athletic endeavor, add therapeutic taping to your list of possible interventions.” The additional support during training or recovery only increases your performance and results!