What Kinesio Taping?
Kinesio taping has become much more visible in recent years. You have likely seen athletes, gym-goers, and even pregnant women using the colorful muscle tape in strategic positions as a way of easing pressure on their joints and alleviating pain. Kinesio tape is a blend of old-school pain management strategies and state-of-the-art medical technology, utilizing aspects of acupressure and strategic physical therapy by placing elastic therapeutic tape around problematic areas. The tape exudes a tensioning force, allowing for free range of motion while still providing a therapeutic pressure to the targeted area.
While using tape to wrap injured areas is not inherently new, the use of Kinesio tape is different. Kinesio tape is specialized to react to body heat, providing added support by staying firm and in-place all day. While traditional bandages have long been used to provide additional support during injury recovery, K-tape is the first of its kind. This type of kinesiology tape can be purchased through your chiropractor or at a local sports goods store, and comes in a roll of tape in a variety of colors. The tape is cut to fit the area in need of therapy, and lasts all day. Unlike a standard ACE bandage, that will typically wear over time and not be as effective with later uses, the Kinesio tape is one-time use and designed to last up to four days.
The acrylic adhesive component in kinesiology tape is activated by body heat, meaning that as soon as your Oakland chiropractor applies the taping technique, it will begin working. Yet the cotton fibers that also comprise the material wick moisture away. That means that sweating and getting the area wet isn’t as much of an issue as it was with traditional bandages injured athletes and other patients were once given.
What conditions can be helped by Kinesio Taping?
- Back sprains & strains
- Neck pain
- Shoulder injuries
- Knee pain
- Sports injuries
How does Kinesio Taping work?
The goal of kinesio tape is to enhance blood circulation at targeted areas, thereby reducing pain and improving recovery time following an injury. Kinesio tape works off the science of kinesiology, which is a fundamental aspect of injury rehab. The taping creates a pulling action that helps to hold problematic joints and muscles in place as you go about your daily business and routine—including engagement in any level of physical activity or exercise.
The tape works by gently reinforcing the skin, pulling it away from your muscles, thereby allowing blood and other fluids to circulate more easily. The gentle pressure also cues the body to send additional blood to the taped area. This improved circulation lessens swelling and speeds healing. Some evidence suggests that the tape’s exceptional holding abilities also help to correct misaligned muscles and ligaments.
The best wrapping technique changes depending on the part of the body in need of attention. Chiropractors and physical therapists are trained in the best ways to tape different parts of the body. Determining the exact placement and shaping of the kinesiology tape, along with which direction the “pull” should go, are all part of the skill needed in order to promote healing. For example, certain injuries call for Y- or X-shaped applications, while smaller, more fragile areas heal better with an I-shaped wrapping.
When properly applied — and after the patient has been carefully evaluated — muscle taping often allows athletes to get back to running. Other injured patients find their daily activities feel easier, with the support of the taping holding tender areas in place, and preventing overuse of problematic joints and muscles.
If you would like to speak to a doctor at Riverstone Chiropractic in Oakland CA to find out if and how we can help you overcome your injury and get you back to the activities you love, please call (510) 465-2342 or click the button below to schedule your free consultation.