What is Kinesio tape?
Kinesio tape is an elastic therapeutic taping that provides manipulation of the soft tissue, to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered in the clinic between visits. The primary goal of taping is to reduce pain through the correction of biomechanics and motor control. When used in conjunction with other hands-on and exercise-based treatments, it gives patients the best possible window for a quick recovery. Similar to other physiotherapy interventions, anyone can benefit; from longstanding chronic patients to athletes wanting improved performance.
Why is it used?
Kinesio tape is primarily used to change the muscle physiology, as to:
- relieve pain,
- relax or strengthen muscles (optimising force production, improving motor performance),
- improve resolution of swelling,
- increase range of motion,
- facilitate tissue recovery,
- reduce muscular fatigue,
- break down/correct fascial adhesions
- physically correct alignment.
Kinesio tape can replace rigid tape in most circumstances to control movement throughout range, not just simply restrict range.
What are the typical injuries that can benefit from Kinesio taping technique?
As shown above, the applications of kinesio tape are wide and varied. This means benefits can be seen at any stage of all types of conditions. Acute injuries…For example;
- ligament sprains or
- muscle tears will benefit from swelling reduction and protection, which kinesio tape provides.
- acute muscle spasm, often seen in the neck, mid or low back will benefit from muscle relaxation and mechanical correction between sessions.
Chronic conditions which have not responded to previous treatments can also benefit from Kinesio tape. Sciatica and plantar fasciitis are two common examples. It can address the original underlying drivers of the pain which that cause the poor adaptive movements. Sporting conditions such as; patellofemoral pain, tennis elbow, shin splints, and shoulder impingement, will all benefit from Kinesio tape application. This is done through optimising force output and mechanically correcting movement, which will reduce pain provocation. Also, it will not physically restrict movement like rigid tape often does, making your movement feel more natural.