Kinesiology Taping (K-Tape) Explained1st December 2019
What is Kinesiology Taping (K-Tape)?
Kinesiology Taping first ‘hit the headlines’ at the 2012 Olympic Games, when we started to see athletes sporting the brightly coloured funky tape. We at the Rehab Hub believe it to be a beneficial modality – most useful when applied correctly and used to support soft tissue treatment, exercise prescription, and care advice. We are well trained in its effective application, which requires not only the safe use a pair of scissors, but anatomical knowledge and an understanding of healing and ways in which to ‘offload’ muscle tension.
Does it ‘speed up’ healing?
When an area of the body is injured through impact or over-use the lymphatic fluid builds up causing inflammation and swelling. This accumulation of lymphatic fluids causes increased pressure on muscles and tissue which can cause significant discomfort or pain. It is believed that (when applied correctly) K- Tape lifts the skin; decompressing the layers of fascia, allowing for greater movement of lymphatic fluid which transports white blood cells throughout the body and removes waste products, cellular debris, and bacteria. In this way it is reported that healing times are improved.
Can it help with pain?
Ever whack your shin and rub it, and suddenly realize you feel better? K-Tape interferes with the pain signals going to the brain, meaning that you feel less discomfort. Many people call it “magic” or think that it has fixed their injury instantly, when in fact it just helps to change how your body interprets pain – turning down the pain “volume.”
Can it help with inflammation and swelling?
When K-Tape is applied correctly it has a microscopic lifting effect underneath the skin and between the many myofascial layers. This allows the by-products created by inflammation to be removed more quickly and efficiently, therefore reducing the symptoms of heat and discomfort.
Does it help with muscle fatigue?
Research has shown that K-Tape can attenuate muscle fatigue. In rehab this is very important, not only for the parts of your body that are currently hurting, but also for the surrounding areas as they help to pick up the slack for muscles that are not working well.