What do you think about the colored tape that’s being seen on endurance athletes? What’s it’s purpose?
Kinesiology tape was first developed in the 1970s by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase, kinesiology tape came to prominence after the 2008 Olympics, and several companies have developed products from Kase’s Kinesio Tex Tape since.
Although it can be applied in a variety of patterns, the tape predominantly works in a few key ways. Kinesiology tape offers structural or muscle support; it can correct postural problems and increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage.
How Does Kinesio Tape Work?
Dr. Kase lists the following as the four major functions of Kinesio Taping. These functions drive the technology behind the tape:
- 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 own healing mechanisms, a central focus in chiropractic medicine.
- Correcting joint problems — The goal is improving range of motion and adjusting misalignments that result from tightened muscles (source).
When the tape is applied correctly, it achieves the last of these effects by lifting the skin to create a small space between the muscle and dermis layers. That space takes the pressure off swelling or injured muscles, allows smooth muscle movement and makes space for drainage and blood flow.
While the use of kinesiology is often associated with athletes such as Serena Williams, Kerri Walsh, and Lance Armstrong, the reality is that kinesiology tape is effective for the treatment of a wide variety of problems, not just sports injuries. Other uses may include: Achilles tendonitis, Plantar fasciitis, Jumpers knee, ACL/MCL issues, Rotator cuff injuries, Groin and hamstring pulls, Lower back issues, Shin splints, Tennis and golf elbow, Improve sports performance, Pain associated with pregnancy, Postural correction, and more.
The brightly-colored kinesiology tape is made up of cotton fibers with polymer elastic strands woven throughout. Kinesiology tape is pliable and allows for a full range of motion. Tapes are typically available in two-inch or four-inch widths. Most brands provide instructional videos and are worth checking out like. Most popular are Rock Tape, Spidertech and Kinesio.
If you have an injury and want to help speed up the healing process or maybe you want to prevent having an injury, then give kinesiology tape a try… I’d love to hear your feedback.
Ready. Set. Get Fit!
Darese, ISSA CFT, Certified Boot Camp Instructor
Resources: running.competitor.com, and rocktape.com