If you’re like us and watch a lot of sporting events, you may have noticed the increased appearance of some brightly colored tape adorned on many athletes’ bodies. Whether it was the tennis players at Wimbledon, professional cyclists, Crossfit athletes at the Crossfit Games on ESPN or the volleyball players at the last Olympics, many professional athletes have embraced this new type of taping called Kinesio Taping. We have many patients coming into our office wishing to try the newest techniques that they see their favorite athletes using. This post will highlight the benefits of Kinesio Tape, how it works, what conditions it works best for and some other tips about the tape!
Kinesio Tape is a breathable, stretchable, flexible tape that is intended to mimic the elasticity of our skin. It is applied over muscles to help reduce pain and inflammation, support tired or chronic/overused muscles and it can also be used to support muscles during an event by preventing muscle fatigue. This type of taping differs from traditional taping because Kinesio Tape moves with the body, allowing for full range of motion.
How does it work? When a muscle becomes injured and inflamed from repetitive motions or heavy lifting, the area between the skin and muscle becomes compressed. When this area is compressed, any swelling comes trapped and cannot flow to the lymphatic ducts to be drained. This concentration of swelling also puts pressure on your body’s pain receptors, sending a signal to your brain saying “Ouch!”. This is where Kinesio Tape can help alleviate some symptoms.
According to the inventor of Kinesio Tape, Dr. Kase, there are four major benefits to using this taping method. First, the tape helps support the muscle by improving its ability to contract. Second, there is a specific way to apply the tape that helps remove swelling by improving circulation and lymphatic draining systems. This is known as a “fan-cut application”. The “fingers” of the tape help lift skin away from the muscle and provide a massage-like motion to move any fluid into the lymphatic drainage ducts. Third, the taping activates the neurological pain pathway to reduce pain, similar to the way we innately know to “rub” a cut or bruise. Lastly, Kinesio Tape can be used to correct dysfunctional joint mechanics like in people with poor posture.
As mentioned, earlier Kinesio Tape can be used by athletes of any sport or anyone with muscle issues. Any muscle problems can usually be helped with the addition of Kinesio Tape to a treatment plan. It can also be applied immediately before a competition to help prevent muscle fatigue, as seen in huge increase in Crossfit athletes using this tape prior to competitions. Dr. Cohle has been trained in Kinesio Taping applications and has been using the tape on his patients for over 4 years now. If you have questions about the tape or are interested in having a professional apply the tape for you, contact Cohle Performance Chiropractic in Harrisburg today at 717 503 9454! We have several different tape colors so you can really stand out!