What is Kinesiology Tape?
Kinesiology tape is an adhesive sports tape that is designed to be wearable for several days. The tape facilitates the body’s natural healing process while providing support to muscles, soft tissue, and joints without restricting range of motion. Kinesiology taping is also known for the stimulation it provides to a variety of sensory nerves in the skin and underlying tissue. It lifts and creates shearing patterns in the skin and underlying tissues, leading to a neurological effect. This cascade sends an alteration of the afferent signals returning from the taped area to the brain. As a result, the brain’s response changes to the incoming information which alters the efferent signals received at the taped area. Due to this afferent/ efferent response in the skin stimulation created by the tape, it can alter proprioception, muscle contraction timing, and force output, as well as range of motion. Kinesiology tape can be an effective treatment when used in conjunction with other skilled therapeutic and manual therapy interventions.
Benefits of Kinesiology Tape
To get the full benefits from Kinesiotape a thorough soft tissue assessment needs to be performed by a trained medical professional. It is a tool in physical therapy that can be safely used in conjunction with other modalities and treatments performed. It can help to prevent and heal injury, correct movement dysfunctions, decrease pain and inflammation, unload tissue via decompression, and provide a novel stimulus that improves the body’s overall awareness. It can be used for a variety of injuries with people ranging from elite athletes, weekend warriors, geriatrics, and even pediatric patients. One of the most common uses is to help relieve pain so that the patient’s movements do not become altered and cause suboptimal movement patterns that can lead to injuries.