What is kinesio tape?
Kinesio tape is a latex-free, elastic cotton tape. The tape, which can be worn for up to five days, has no medication in it and is both water-resistant and porous. This taping method was originally developed in Japan and is now practiced throughout the world. When kinesio tape is applied correctly it can support, facilitate and re-educate muscle groups, facilitate muscle alignment, and provide kinesthetic awareness of the body. The results from using the tape are often immediate and include reduction in pain, swelling, and an improvement in movement, circulation, and muscle memory.
Kinesio tape is not the traditional, rigid tape commonly used in sports, rather it is a flexible and thin tape that moves with the skin, so it is well tolerated. The tape can be used as an additional treatment option or adjunct to massage, yoga, physical or occupational therapy, chiropractic treatment and acupuncture. Kinesio tape is thin and comfortable enough to allow a brace to be worn over the tape.
How does kinesio tape work?
Simply put, kinesio tape provides space. When placed on the skin, an immediate lift of the underlying tissue occurs, which increases the space between the layers of the muscle, fascia, and skin. This allows for a more efficient exchange of fluids and more room for reorganization of collagen fibers. In addition, the tape provides sensory input to various receptors located in the skin, tendons, ligaments, and or muscles. Depending on the application method, the tape may stimulate or relax a muscle, support a tendon or ligament, and improve circulation. The result is an improvement in the healing process and the overall health of the patient.