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What is Kinesiology Tape?

Since the 2012 Olympics Kinesiology Tape has been a buzzword in the sport medical world. As with many techniques some are sceptical about if the taping actually works. I have had good results over the years with many patients. It compliments other manual therapies I use and is a valid part of my treatment and rehabilitation progressions.

KTape is a therapeutic taping application that supports a wide variety of musculoskeletal and sports injuries. I use it primarily to reduce inflammation and pain, promote good circulation and healing and support muscles and joints. It is good for acute and chronic stages of an injury and I use it for preventative measure with many patients.

If you have stressed or strained a muscle or ligament the correct taping application can give the localised area support and stability whilst facilitating the body’s natural healing process. If you happen to sprain your ankle KTape can be a fantastic aid. Certain taping techniques allow a microscopic skin lift, creating interstitial space; this results in a decrease the inflammation in the localised area. The tape has been proven to have a positive effect on the skin, lymphatic and circulatory system, fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints.

Different taping sizes and shapes have separate uses. Single “I and Y” strips that vary in length and width are most common. These can be used to aid in knee stabilisation or muscle repair amongst many other things. The tape can stretch to a max of 180% so depending on the amount of support needed some tape applications can be used as a mental reminder for the patient. For example when someone suffers with rounded shoulders and has poor posture, KTape can be used at the end of a session to guide a patient and involve a mental que. I tend to use most of the session time working on the dysfunctional muscles, I then try to educate the patient on why and how to sit, stand and move better. The reminder and gentle pull on the tape allows muscle memory to kick in and aid the patients progress.

You may have seen various colours and designs of KTape as of yet there is no difference. Purely a marketing design or a technique used by the therapist to produce a psychosomatic reaction. Anything that allows an athlete return to sport quicker is a bonus.

We are taught to tape movement and not just the muscle. Most rehabilitation and recovery from injuries include movement. Various taping techniques are used to support and aid movement. I have found RockTape to be the best on the market and tend to stick to the H2o tape as it lasts a long time, is specifically designed to be worn in water and is great for taping tricky areas.

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