What Is Kinesiotape?
Research into how muscles, tendons and joints function is known as kinesiology. Improvements in this field have resulted in a better understanding of how our body works and heals. We now know that keeping a muscle moving is an essential component to the healing process. Not only does it prevent muscle tension, it circulates blood, cells and fluids in and out of the injured area.
Traditional therapeutic taping focuses on immobilizing the site of injury which can be helpful, but also has some unwanted side effects. Since the tape has no stretch it reduces circulation to the area thus slowing down the healing process. Immobilization of the area can also lead to weakening of the muscles involved.
Kinesiotaping approaches the problem from a different angle. The design of the specialized tape and its application procedures was developed in 1979 by a Japenese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase. Unlike traditional athletic tape he used a unique elastic and patterned tape to assist muscle function and improve circulation in the surrounding area.
The elastic properties of his tape reduce the strain on the muscle and actively assists with mobility. His efforts have evolved over the decades and these methods are now regularly used by professional athletes and weekend warriors alike.
Another great feature of the tape is that it is breathable and will not come off due to sweating or showering. It uses a special heat sensitive adhesive that maintains its placement for about 5 days and will start to peel off on its own.
Taping procedures are different for supporting an injured muscle versus assisting a weakened one and knowing the difference is critical. This is why the assistance of a professional who can determine the type and location of the injury is critical.
I have successfully used kinesiotape to treat a number of sprains and strains involving the neck, shoulder, ankles, hands, low back, etc. Furthermore, it is helpful to maintain alignment of the knee in runners, improve foot mechanics for individuals with arch, fascia, or toe problems, back support during pregnancy and is great when retraining postures.
Let us know if you have any questions about kinesiotaping and how it might help you.