What exactly is Kinesiology tape?
Kinesiology tape has become an increasingly common sight, worn by many athletes and sporting professionals, from cyclists to footballers, rugby players to cricketers. Often not missed due to the elaborate colours and patterns it is slowly becoming the new form of ‘strapping’ to those on and off the sports field or in or out of the office.
It differs from normal strapping in that its properties are designed and engineered to replicate our own skins’ thickness, weight and elasticity previnting that restricted feeling from normal strapping, and promoting healing and injury prevention and increasing range of motion through improved proprioception.
Who is it suitable for?
Although commonly attributed to athletes its often used for all varieties of people, all shapes and sizes more commonly for;
• Muscle spasm, tightness or weakness
How does K-tape work?
Dependent on the treatment aim, your practitioner will use a variety of different taping techniques and patterns. Regardless of technique or method the main aim is to stimulate the nervous system (autonomic), via various different receptors, mainly the golgi, pacing ruffini and interstitial more interestingly having the following effects;
• Lifting the skin, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, relieving pressure, swelling and pain
• Unloading the soft tissues, deactivating trigger points, easing muscle spasm
• Supporting and unloading soft tissues, improving muscular flexibility
• Improving proprioception and the effectiveness of rehabilitation exercises
Do you use it within osteopathic treatments?
In a word Yes! It’s an excellent modality to use at the end of treatment in order to maintain and further enhance the treatment effects possibly in conjunction with exercises if prescribed. One of the main benefits of K-tape is that it can be worn for between 3 and 5 days, without re-application. Whilst in-situ it is treating your condition 24 hours per day.
Is there much research into K-tape and its effects and benefits?
Currently, there are approximately 40 research projects investigating the various effects and uses of K-tape. Clinically, it’s been in use since the 1970s when it was used in Japan. Athletes have been using this form of taping regularly since the 1990s but it’s really become commonplace since the Beijing Olympics.
There is already a wealth of case study and empirical evidence to support the positive benefits of kinesiology taping. Now we are in the process of research to increase the evidence base of this exciting treatment modality.
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