Whether it was blue, pink, black or green, you’ve more than likely seen kinesiology tape on an athlete on TV or possibly even at your local sporting venue. But what might look like regular sports tape to you, is actually a highly useful rehabilitation tool designed to aid athletes who have suffered injuries in the past or who may suffer from other conditions. So then if this tape is so unique, what exactly does it do and why is it applied in such strange ways? That's what this month's blog post is going to share with you.
Continue reading below for a breakdown of what kinesiology tape (K-tape) is, how it began, how it works and what benefits it provides users.
What is K-Tape?
Simply put, K-tape is, well, tape. But not just any tape. It’s a cotton sports tape that has an elasticized core that allows it to stretch and move with the body as well as provide support and relief. Some brands of K-tape have unique qualities built in that will enable it to sweat and shed moisture for instance, but in its purest form, K-tape is a supportive elasticized sports tape.
The History of K-Tape
Contrary to what you may think, K-tape is over 30 years old— dating back to the 1970s. It was then that Japanese Chiropractor, Dr. Kenzo Kase developed the tape as well as the taping method that we use nowadays. He developed the tape to fill voids in treatment offerings at that time, and his goal was to find a way to let patients experience the healing benefits of his treatments long after they've left his clinic.
How K-Tape Works
K-tape alone is not enough to provide athletes and patients with support, relief and healing benefits. But when applied correctly, K-tape works to gently lift the skin and create space for blood and lymphatic fluid to better flow and circulate. This helps to reduce swelling because when blood and lymphatic fluid build-up, it causes the swelling that we can see from outside the body.
But that’s not all that K-tape provides athletes and patients. Due to its elastic design, it allows it to move with a person's body while preventing over-stretching, giving support to muscle and tissue and distributing pain and pressure away from the affected area.
The Benefits of Using K-Tape
As we mentioned above, K-tape provides patients with many benefits. These include:
- Allows patients to experience relief in between treatments
- Reduces pressure and swelling of the affected area
- Allows muscles to recover faster
- Provides strength assistance to affected muscles
- Provides pain relief and muscle assistance during sport
- And more!
What Can K-Tape Be Used To Treat?
Now that you know about the benefits of K-tape, you’re probably wondering what conditions and injuries K-tape is proven to be beneficial for. And truth be told, almost any muscle strain injury can benefit from the use of K-tape. K-tape can be applied to an athletes legs, arms, neck, shoulders, feet, back and even hands.
On top of muscle strains, K-tape can help provide relief for:
- Sprained ligaments
- Joint problems (alignment, instability, etc.)
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- And more!
If you’re wondering if K-tape can help treat your condition, get in touch with us and a member of our team would be happy to help.
Now that you know all there is to know about K-Tape and its uses, we’re sure you’re interested in giving it a try for yourself. And while it might be able to provide you with benefits, it’s important to keep in mind a couple of details. The first is that although K-tape is proven to aid athletes with various conditions, it’s only beneficial when applied by a professional. Whether it’s a team trainer with a medical background or a physiotherapist or other health care professional like the members of our team, these people have the training and know-how to apply and properly place K-tape so that you experience the benefits, support and/or relief that you should. The second thing to remember is that K-tape is not a substitute for proper therapy and rehabilitation treatments. K-tape is meant to support the work that your physiotherapist or other health care professional can provide and should only be used if you have undergone or are currently undergoing a regular rehabilitation program. If you’re experiencing discomfort, pain or weakness and believe that K-Tape might be beneficial to you, we strongly recommend you start by consulting with your chosen health care professional. They’ll be able to diagnose the problem and develop a comprehensive treatment plan that will get you back to normal. If you’d like to discuss anything above or would like to schedule a consultation with a member of our team, we strongly recommend you get in touch with us by phone, email or on social media. We’d be more than happy to help in any way we can.