Kinesiology taping (or kinesio taping or KT) is the application of a thin, stretchy, cotton-based therapeutic tape that can benefit a wide variety of injuries and inflammatory conditions. It is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows it to be worn without binding, constricting or restriction of movement.
Kinesiology tape differs from other types of strapping tape in both its form and function. Most types of strapping tape are non-elastic and are wrapped firmly around an injured joint or muscle to provide rigid support and restrict movement. Rigid strapping can only be worn for short periods of time, after which they must be removed to restore movement and circulation.
Kinesiology tape differs as It has unique elastic properties that allow the kinesiology tape to provide dynamic support. This provides an almost second layer of support that may assist weaker muscles. Plus, due to its elastic properties, kinesiology tape allows full motion of your body parts, to allow near-normal range of motion.
Kinesiology tape can be worn during intense exercise, in the shower or even swimming. This means that the tape can potentially guide your movement while you stay active.
Kinesiology tape has a comprehensive array of therapeutic benefits. Because it can be left on for several days, these therapeutic benefits are available to the injured area 24-hours a day.
Kinesiology taping is thought to relieve pain through different mechanisms. These could be grouped as either physical or neurological mechanisms.
Physically, the lifting action of the kinesiology tape may help to relieve pressure on pain receptors directly under the skin. This may provide both short and medium-term pain relief.
Chronic pain could be improved via sensory stimulation of some nerve fibres.
By lifting this skin, kinesiology taping is thought to provide a negative pressure under the tape. This vacuum may allow the lymphatic drainage channels to drain swelling and other inflammatory cells away from the injured area.
Based on the same physical lifting principle, kinesiology taping may be effective in the reduction of lymphoedema.
Exercise and repeated muscle contractions produce post-exercise byproducts such as lactic acid. Lactic acid can cause poor muscle performance, fatigue cramping and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
Kinesiology tape may help remove lactic acid and other exercise byproducts from the region, which could assist muscle performance, reduce fatigue, cramps and DOMS.
Kinesiology tape may provide both physical and neurological support for your dynamic structures such as muscles. This may assist everyday activities, high-level sport or potentially low tone children.
By supporting weak or painful structures, kinesiology tape may allow injured athletes, workers and weekend warriors to return to sport, work or play quicker that without kinesiology tape's unique dynamic support.
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