How to Properly Use Kinesiology Tape

· 7th April 2019
Kinesiology tape is one of the most effective tools for treating and preventing injuries and relieving exercise-related pains.

Maybe you’ve seen professional or Olympic athletes use colored tape on different parts of their bodies during competitions? This is called kinesiology tape, or elastic therapeutic tape, and it has many benefits. Find out more in this article!

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What is kinesiology tape?

Also known as kinesiological taping, the idea is to provide stability for your joints and muscles that are injured or susceptible to pain or cramping. This method is typically used for preventing injury, as well as for healing ailments and reducing pain and swelling.

Kinesiology taping is a technique that has been used for years in the world of professional sports. However, it has become famous recently thanks to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. There, various athletes appeared with colored kinesiology tape on their arms, shoulders, knees, and wrists.

The bandage should be placed by a physician who is specialized in kinesiology. A lot of times, the same professional that takes care of the athlete will apply the bandage. In addition, sometimes a physiotherapist or chiropractor may apply the tape.

Where to apply kinesiology tape

The tape may be applied on all affected areas of the body, starting on the very end of a muscle and bringing it to the other side, keeping firm tension on the tape. Pulling the muscle in this way by creating tension on the skin allows a sort of hollowness to develop between the dermis and the muscle.

As a result, blood flow increases and it promotes the healing process of an injury.

Elastic therapeutic tape really grabs attention thanks to its vibrant colors. However, the colors are only for aesthetic purposes. The rest of the tape is the same as all the others. It’s made with cotton fibers, allowing air flow and includes adhesive acrylic to stick to the skin.

Additionally, this adhesive activates body heat. One of the main characteristics of kinesiology tape is that it can stretch by up to 140 percent of its original length.

Woman grabbing injured leg kinesiology tape prevent injury

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Fundamentals

This method is based on old elastic therapeutic techniques, which affirm that tissues function better when there is less fatigue or tension in the area. Therefore, greater blood flow and less pressure lead to fewer problems and annoyances and better movement.

This tape is not, although some do believe it to be, an illegal method to get an advantage over your opponents. For this reason, its use is permitted in national and international competitions, including the Olympic Games and the world cups of different sports.

The majority of athletes who use kinesiology tape do it in order to prevent repeat injuries, to not feel the pain of an old contracture, or to recover more quickly despite working the muscle hard during training or competition. Therefore, athletes don’t just use it without reason or to just “move the joint more.”

Benefits of using kinesiology tape

Thanks to the knowledge that kinesiology tape increases the regenerative capability of the human body, more and more professional athletes are using it. Additionally, this type of bandage even activates the neurological and circulatory systems.

Muscles have the power to control many different processes. They don’t only control the simple movements of the human body. In addition, they are responsible for circulating lymphatic and venous fluids, adjusting temperature, and much more.

Another benefit is that it’s able to treat muscle pain, thanks to the fact that it relieves pressure on the nerves. When nerves become compressed, the impulses sent to the brain translate as aches and pains. So, that’s how the overload on your muscles can enjoy relief!

Kinesiology tape for taping the knee of a woman

How to apply

Kinesiology taping is available in three basic ways: an I shape for small or linear areas; a Y shape for large muscles, and an X shape for larger and longer muscles.

First, you must stretch the tape a little and then remove the sticky backing on the tape. The idea is that you place one end of the tape where the muscle begins and then stretch it out until where you want it to relax.

The rules indicate that you shouldn’t put the tape from one end of the muscle to the other because that could cause cramps or pulls.

Once it’s placed, it lasts about four days and doesn’t come unstuck due to water or sweat. To remove the tape, you must take it off in the direction of the body hair (previously shaven), without pulling.

To conclude, we can assure you that it’s good to use kinesiology tape when you’re injured or have muscle pain. When you do it, you’ll see that you can work out with no problems and accelerate your recovery.

  • Konishi, Y. (2013). Tactile stimulation with Kinesiology tape alleviates muscle weakness attributable to attenuation of Ia afferents. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport16(1), 45-48.