Are you fond of watching Olympics or athletics on television? So, definitely you have seen athletes wearing strips of bright colored tapes. These tapes are called Kinesiology or kinesio tapes.
What are Kinesiology Tapes?
Let us go some years back! A chiropractor acupuncturist and moxibustion therapist named Dr. Kanzo Kase of Japan developed this method in the year 1979. He researched that the effects of all types of therapies were effective, but the effects were not permanent. So, he researched for a thing which has long lasting effect named Kinesio Tape.
A tape which is thin, stretchable with elastic cotton strip and an acrylic adhesive is known as Kinesiology tape. You can stretch this tape to 40% - 60% of its resting length. This tape is also water-proof and sweat-proof.
Working of Kinesio Tapes:
So, now let’s talk how does Kinesio tape work? When a muscle or joint becomes injured, swelling is caused in that area. Swelling contains the bleeding from the injury and many other fluids. When the tape is applied, with the formation of wrinkles, the elastic properties of tape induce a vertical lift of skin from the underlying tissue. Thus, the space between the skin and muscles decompresses. The space which is decompressed contains many important stuff like nerve-ending, blood vessels etc. Promotion of improved blood and lymphatic flow into and out of the taped area occurs due to this decompression and injury waste products and pain-generating chemicals start removing rapidly which causes relief on the injured part.
Advantages of Kinesio Tapes:
- Instant relief from pain: Improvement of lymphatic flow reduces swelling. This results in lessening the activation of pain receptors providing immediate pain relief.
- Reduction of swelling: When there is lesser pressure on the lymphatic drainage channels it allows better removal of fluids and other materials that collect in the area.
- Provides support without bonding the range of motion: It also supports an injured muscle or joint without restricting the range of motion.
- Gives relief to spasm and cramping: It prevents or relieves spasms and cramps in injured muscles.
- Recovers the overused muscles fast: The muscles which are overused contain many by-products that limit the ability to exercise continuously. When Kinesio Tape is applied over the infected area, it enhances the removal of these by-products for rapid recovery.
- Allow athletes to keep on their play even in their injury: This tape can prevent either over- stretching or over-contraction of injured muscles when used as a therapeutic tape.
- Reduction in Lymphodema: This tape is effective in the reduction of lymphodema due to its same physical lifting property.
- Helps athletes to return to their play quickly: This tape supports weak or painful structures which help sport persons, workers or athletes to return to their work or play quickly.
Precautions while using Kinesio Tapes:
- You should avoid taping over ulnar nerve.
- If you are cancer patient, then you should not use this tape.
- You should not apply this tape on any skin surface that is damaged or broken.
Some suggestions for applying Kinesio Tapes:
- While applying this tape first time, you should contact your physician.
- You should move through a full ROM before applying the tape because this increases the tissue movement.
- You should cut the tape into the correct shape to address the target tissue or function.
Kinesio Tape found in many colors is a blessing for workers, athletes or sport persons at it doesn’t waste your time and helps you to continue with your play or work.