Kinesiology tape is that bright colored tape you see on olympic and professional athletes. While increasingly popular in the sports world, it can have beneficial effects for everyone.
Unlike athletic tape which is designed to limit blood flow and movement, kinesiology tape is very stretchy and encourages increased movement.
There are many theories as to how kinesiology tape works:
- The skin is full of sensory receptors. When we place kinesiology tape on the skin, these receptors are activated to send signals to the spinal cord and brain to reflexively cause the muscles underneath to relax
- By placing kinesiology tape over an overstressed muscle or tendon, the flexible support of the tape spreads out the tensile forces over a larger area to decrease tension on the stressed area
- The stretch and elasticity of the kinesiology tape creates a slight lifting of the skin away from the underlying tissue, which allows for better movement of lymphatic fluid and swelling away from the irritated tissues. This helps to limit post-injury bruising and edema
Most of the injuries we see involve some degree of muscle, tendon or other connective tissue dysfunction, and kinesiology tape is a great help in treating them.