Sports kinesiology tape was developed in the 1970’s by a Japanese chiropractor Dr Kenso Kase, a very famous and professional chiropractor. Kinesiology tape is a strong but flexible tape that moves with your body, it has been proven to have positive physiological effects on the skin, lymphatic and circulatory system, fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. Kinesiology tape is a natural rehabilitative taping technique that helps to stabilize an injured area of the body, allowing it to heal without completely reducing its range of motion. The most common areas of the body where the tape is used are: knees, shoulders, calves, shins, elbows, wrists and back. The tape can be applied over and around an injured joint, muscle or tendon to reduce swelling, pain and prevent more complications and side effects.
How does kinesiology tape work
Kinesiology tape works by lifting the skin slightly away from the underlying tissue, due to the adhesion between the skin and tape. It creates a small space between the muscle and dermis of the skin where fluid can be drained from. Kinesiology tape can be used for a longer period than stiff athletic tape as it doesn’t severely limit the circulation.
Benefits of kinesiology tape
1. Decreased pain- Kinesiology tape can help reduce pain. The presence of tape on the skin creates a free stimulus, which makes it more difficult for the nervous system to detect pain in the injured area. The lifting effect from the tape on the skin reduces the pressure on the body’s pain receptors in that area so that fewer signals are sent to the brain.
2. Faster healing- Kinesiology tape is more flexible which provides a vertical lift to the skin. It decompresses the space between the skin and the muscles, which improves blood flow to the area and allows the body's lymphatic and venous drainage systems to drain the waste products at a quicker rate, providing faster healing.
3. Increased muscle strength- The tape has shown to help small increases in muscle strength, which can be very helpful for body parts that may be affected by muscle inhibition. Kinesiology tape works by producing a pull on the fascia (connective tissue), which helps stimulate increased muscle contraction. Combined with improved muscle alignment may contribute to small increases in muscle strength.
4. Improved proprioception- Proprioception is the ability to sense the relative position and movement of your body parts, which plays an important role in the prevention of acute injuries. The presence and stretching effect of the tape on the skin stimulates tiny receptors in the skin that detect changes in movement within the body. These receptors send information to the brain about the body’s movement and position which in theory enhances proprioception.
5. Useful for running injuries- Kinesiology tape is very helpful for running injuries including:
Patellofemoral pain syndrome (runner’s knee)
6. Improved posture- For runners dealing with running form issues, kinesiology tape can help counteract bad posture. The tape improves muscle alignment, combined with proprioception (better feedback from your brain to your body’s position), helps to be more aware of and hold a better posture to fix your running form.
How to use kinesiology tape
Apply the tape 30-60 mins before starting any physical activity.
Prepare your skin by cleaning it to remove dirt, lotion or excess hair. Tape is more efficient applied on bare skin.
Cut and round the edges of the tape so it doesn’t peel back and unstick.
Before applying the tape, properly align and stretch it, but don’t stretch the end of the tape. The ends should lay flat and unstretched on your skin so it doesn’t pull it.
To help activate the adhesive, which works by being activated with the body heat, rub your hands over the tape gently.
Kinesiology tape can help runners with injury prevention and rehabilitation. The tape helps decrease pain, swelling and stiffness, while improving blood flow, range of motion, strength and healing.
Train Well, Listen to your Body, Feel Great!