Relatively new, but effective strategy
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Kinesiology tape is a relatively new, but effective strategy of injury and performance management. It used by health Practitioners such as osteopaths and sports doctors across the world and can regularly be seen strapped to arms, legs and torsos of some of the world’s top professional athletes.
However, despite this common association with athletic performance or injury, kinesiology tape is frequently used as a therapeutic aid for the following
- Pain relief for joint and muscle injury
- Muscle spasm/tension
- post-surgical rehabilitation
- lymphatic and circulatory assistance
- poor joint positioning
- postural or muscular imbalance
What does kinesiology tape do?
Flamboyantly coloured and often in a decorative, but precise pattern, the tape sub-serves many beneficial functions: In theory, when applied professionally and accurately, kinesiology tape can work in number of ways to provide pain relief, reduce inflammation, assist range of movement and provide structural support.
How does it work?
Kinesiology tape is often applied directly to the areas of dysfunction or pain with variable degrees of stretch; the elastic nature of the tape allows a recoil effect to occur which lifts the skin and fascia away from the underlying muscle. The provides a number of favourable effects
- When a soft tissue structure, such as a joint, ligament or muscles is damaged the area becomes inflamed, this increases pressure between the adjacent surfaces and reduces the amount of movement available. The recoil effect of Kinesiology tape increases the space between the skin, fascia and muscle, this reduces friction which relaxes the muscle and allows a greater degree of movement to occur
- Lifting of skin and fascia increases the amount of space for lymphatic and blood flow, this promotes healing and the removal of inflammation (local bruising/swelling).
- By increasing the space between inflamed muscle, fascia and skin, we decrease pressure being applied to pain sensitive fibres, this reduces nociceptive feedback from the damaged area and therefore, we experience less pain.