Created by a chiropractor in the 1970s, Kinesio tape is a therapeutic athletic tape that improves performance, reduces pain, and reduces swelling. Now, there are many different brands of kinesiology tape, all of which function the same way.
Maybe you’ve seen those colorful strips of tape applied to athletes' knees, shoulders, backs, or even abs and wondered what exactly the tape does or how it might help you. If so, you aren’t alone.
Below, Dr. Dustin Hamoy, who often incorporates kinesiology tape into sports injury treatment plans, discusses the many uses of kinesiology tape and its benefits.
What is kinesiology tape?
Here at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center in Glen Burnie, Maryland, our team uses the original kinesiology tape: Kinesio tape. Unlike medical tape (which is used to bandage wounds or secure splints), all kinesiology tape is extremely stretchy and mirrors your skin’s natural elasticity. Thanks to its unique composition of cotton and nylon, the kinesiology tape won’t restrict your movement, and that’s essential for athletes.
Kinesiology tape uses
Kinesiology tape has many uses, including:
- Treating injuries, including tendon injuries
- Supporting weakened areas, including areas affected by Achilles tendonitis and patellofemoral stress syndrome
- Re-educating muscles to promote proper form and posture
- Enhancing performance
- Preventing sports injuries (many runners applied tape prior to a marathon to keep their glutes activated and awake during the race)
Kinesiology tape shouldn’t be used on open wounds, if you have diabetes, or if you have any allergy to the medical-grade adhesive.
Benefits of using kinesiology tape
Now that we’ve covered the many uses of kinesiology tape, let’s talk about the benefits of this type of therapeutic taping. Kinesiology tape can:
Kinesiology taping reduces pain in a few ways. When Dr. Hamoy applies the tape, it gently lifts up your skin, creating a small gap between your skin and the tissues under your skin. Though it’s a subtle shift, it’s enough to reduce pressure on the tendons and fascia underneath your skin.
The tape also helps reduce pain by encouraging blood flow and lymph fluid drainage 一both of which help reduce pain and promote injury healing.
Finally, kinesiology taping triggers your body’s endogenous analgesic system, your body’s own system for releasing pain-controlling neurotransmitters.
Complements other therapies
One of the benefits of kinesiology taping is that you don’t have to choose one treatment over the other. Kinesiology taping complements other pain-relieving therapies, such as physical therapy and MLS laser therapy.
Stays in place
Kinesiology taping can be used for athletes and nonathletes, but it really shines on the playing field. That’s because it stays in place, regardless of your movements or how much you’re sweating. Your tape can stay in place for up to five days without shifting or peeling off 一 even through your most intense races, games, and even your post-game showers.
Get started with kinesiology taping
Whether you’re training for your first marathon, dealing with the pain of Achilles tendonitis, or trying to manage tennis elbow, let us help. Our team is always happy to answer your questions about kinesiology tape and show you how to apply it. If appropriate, we may also recommend any other treatments that might provide additional relief beyond the taping.
To get started with kinesiology taping, give us a call at 410-324-2968. You can also book an appointment online.