Kinesiology Tape Benefits For Athletes

What is Kinesiology Tape? Does it work? Is it just tape?

In this article, I will be informing you about kinesiology tape and how athletes can benefit from using it.

What Is Kinesiology Tape And Where Did The Idea Come From?

Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase developed a muscle treatment in 1979. He named it the Kinesio Taping Method, an elastic tape made from cotton, spandex, and adhesive that is used to stimulate or relax muscles.

The tape was invented to help with pain, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, enhance performance, and support

muscles during sporting events.

What Is The Technology Behind It?

Traditionally, athletes or others with muscle injuries would tape a muscle or joint to restrict motion and prevent further injury. While, kinesiology taping does the opposite, by using the tape to open up the muscle and allow full movement. Kinesiology tape is applied on top of an injured or strained area to stabilize it, but care is always taken to ensure that a muscle or tendon is never surrounded by a ring of tape. As you move, the tape, skin, and connective tissue over the muscle or tendon also move, pulling slightly away from the muscle and creating space for lymphatic fluid to flow around and cleanse the inflamed tissue.

How Does It Work?

The taping method of the kinesiology tape gently lifts the layer of skin and attached tissue coving a muscle so that the blood and other body fluids can move more freely in and around that muscle.

These are the major functions of the technology behind the tapes:

  • Supporting the muscle — Proper taping improves the muscle’s ability to contract even when it’s weakened, reduces a feeling of pain and fatigue, and protects the muscle from cramping, over-extension, and over-contraction.
  • Removing congestion to the flow of body fluids — Kinesiology tape improves blood and lymphatic circulation and reduces inflammation and excess chemical buildup in the tissue.
  • Activating the endogenous analgesic system — “Endogenous” refers to something that is self-originating, and calling something “analgesic” means that it can relieve pain in a conscious person. So, this requirement means that the tape must facilitate the body’s healing mechanisms, a central focus in chiropractic medicine.
  • Correcting joint problems — The goal is to improve the range of motion and adjust misalignments resulting from tightened muscles.
  • Supporting the muscle — Proper taping improves the muscle’s ability to contract even when it’s weakened, reduces a feeling of pain and fatigue, and protects the muscle from cramping, over-extension, and over-contraction.
  • Removing congestion to the flow of body fluids — Kinesiology tape improves blood and lymphatic circulation and reduces inflammation and excess chemical buildup in the tissue.
  • Activating the endogenous analgesic system — “Endogenous” refers to something that is self-originating, and calling something “analgesic” means that it can relieve pain in a conscious person. So, this requirement means that the tape must facilitate the body’s healing mechanisms, a central focus in chiropractic medicine.
  • Correcting joint problems — The goal is to improve the range of motion and adjust misalignments resulting from tightened muscles.

My Experience

The first time I used or even heard of kinesiology tape was from my physical therapist. I would go to him for my shoulders, and he recommended I try them to see how my shoulders would react to them. It helped a lot with my posture and my overall pain and swelling that I was experiencing. I liked it, and every time I went to my physical therapist, I would ask to get taped because I saw improvement when I first tried them on. It felt a little weird at first, but I got used to the tape being present quickly. So my experience with the tape was overall great with some exceptions that I talk about in the cons.

Pros

The tape improves your circulation, reduces the pain you have been experiencing, and speeds up the healing process. Kinesiology Tape is very thin and made with porous cotton fabric. The fabric lets the skin breathe and has an elasticity comparable to that of the skin and muscles.

The sticky side of the tape uses a water-repellant, medical-grade acrylic adhesive that further supports the muscles and connective tissues. The tape can also stay put for three to four days, even through sweating and showering, and Kinesio makes a waterproof tape for use on hands and feet.

Cons

The only challenges I had with kinesiology tapes is that it’s hard to put the tape on yourself in certain places, for example, putting it on your back, it’s going to be very difficult to put it on in the right placement, because of reach and stickiness of the tape. So make sure you have someone to help you put the tape on in awkward places. Another problem is when you take the tape off right after leaving it on for a couple of days, the residue of the tape stays, and it is sometimes hard to get it off even in the shower.

Final Thoughts

I think this tape is a great thing to use for minor injuries like strains in my overall experience with this tape. Make sure if you are using this tape that you put the tape on correctly, there are multiple ways to put it on if you search for it you can find some.

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Have a Great Day 🙂

~Trinity G.

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