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Kinesiology taping

It is now common to see athletes wearing brightly coloured kinesiology tape, which is fast replacing traditional strapping on the sports-field.

Traditional supports and strapping is designed to reduce range of motion and stabilise or support.

K-tape is designed to the opposite, by allowing movement but with an added element of support. K Tape replicates the skin’s thickness, weight and elasticity, which prevents the restricted feeling that you often get from conventional strapping. It promotes healing and prevents further injury by allowing the patient a wider range of motion, and because the patient can more easily feel how the body is moving.

Although it is most obviously seen on athletes, it often used for non-sports people who suffer from muscle spasm, tightness or weakness, swelling, bruising or pain.

How Does it work?

K Tape is said to stimulate the nervous system and have the following effects;

  • Lifting ‘effect’ improving blood and lymphatic circulation, relieving pressure, swelling and pain
  • Unloading the soft tissues, deactivating trigger points (knots), easing muscle spasm.
  • Supporting and unloading soft tissues, improving muscular flexibility.
  • Improving proprioception and the effectiveness of rehabilitation exercises.

K-tape is normally used at the end of treatment to maintain and further enhance its effects, often alongside an exercise programme. After it is applied, K-tape treats your condition for 24 hours a day, and it can be worn for between three and five days, without re-application.

Athletes have been using this form of taping regularly since the 1990s, but it’s really taken off since the Beijing Olympics, when it was first widely used.

There is already a wealth of case study and empirical evidence to support the positive benefits of kinesiology taping, and more research is being done all the time. The key to it working is having it applied correctly.