Kinesio Taping: What is it and does it work?

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Kinesio Taping, also known as k-taping or kinesiology taping, can be an effective treatment method for common muscular injuries. This technique facilitates the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints. In addition, this taping can reduce the likelihood of muscle spasms, cramping and overuse injuries

What is Kinesio Tape?

It is certainly not the ACE bandage we all grew up knowing. Though ACE bandages have a time and a place, K Tape serves a different but similar purpose. Kinesio tape is a thin, latex-free, elastic, adhesive tape that can be applied directly on to the skin. It is a hypoallergenic cotton fiber tape that is water-resistant and can be worn for several days in a row while still retaining adhesiveness. It’s ability to retain it’s adhesiveness, even during showers contributes to its popularity as it provides 24/7 support. It comes in rolls or pre-cut, muscle-designated strips  

How does it work?

Properly applied Kinesio Tape will assist the body in its natural healing process by microscopically lifting the skin to create space within the soft tissues. This method reduces inflammation and increases beneficial blood flow to an injured area, resulting in a faster healing process. It is also used to prevent over-stretching or over-contraction of muscles without limiting the range of motion.

What are the benefits?

Pain Relief 

Taping relieves pain by physical and neurological mechanisms. Physically, the lifting action of the kinesiology tape relieves pressure on pain receptors directly under the skin, allowing for both immediate and lasting relief. 

Swelling Reduction

By lifting the skin in the injured area, kinesiology taping provides a negative pressure under the tape. This allows the lymphatic drainage channels to drain swelling and other inflammatory cells away from the injured area quicker.

Reduced Muscle Fatigue, Cramps and Soreness

Exercise can produce post-exercise byproducts such as lactic acid. Lactic acid can cause poor muscle performance, fatigue cramping and muscle soreness. Kinesiology tape can help remove lactic acid and other exercise byproducts from the affected area, which can reduce the muscle fatigue, cramps and soreness. 

Assists Weak or Injured Muscles

Kinesiology tapes unique elasticity provides passive support to weak or injured muscles. This can help with everyday activities, high level sports or even sprains in children. 

By supporting weak or painful structures in the body, kinesiology tape ultimately allows injured athletes and non athletes alike. Users are able to return to sports, work or play quicker than without kinesiology tape’s support. Though there is much debate as to whether Kinesio Taping is as effective as it is said to be, there is no debate that finding solutions to deal with injuries in a positive way is always encouraged. Taping can have a place in a rehabilitation journey, asking your doctor and seeing a professional about how and when to tape your injury is always wise. We hope this short introduction to Kinesio Taping will spark your interest to further reading on the subject.