Kinesiology tapes stabilise an injured area by lightly adhering to your skin. These tapes apply pressure to the tissues and muscle groups. They are applied not only on injured tissues but painful areas as well.
Kinesiology tapes are extremely elastic. Made using a special blend of nylon and cotton – they effectively mimic the skin’s elasticity. This is important because you’re likely to use a body part with a k-tape on nearly as effortlessly as you’d move it without it. The one-way elastic stretch of kinesiology tapes allows you to provide support to your muscles and ultimately parts of your body without limiting the mobility of those areas at all.
K-tapes are usually a combination of multiple strips. They are combined to form a protective shielding around the affected region.
A kinesiology tape is also called a k-tape. K-tape benefits are many. Let’s first cover those before we move on to their specialized uses.
Kinesiology tape benefits
Apart from allowing a full range of motion while having healing effects for your damaged tissues, kinesiology tape comes with a host of other benefits as well.
1. The adhesive used in k-tapes is medical-grade and water-resistant. It’s strong enough to stay on for half a dozen days on the higher end. Taking a shower or working out with them is perfectly hassle-free.
2. Kinesiology tapes marginally increase space between joints. These spaces, although microscopic, help relieve joint irritation. Several studies have already proven that out of the many kinesiology tape benefits, a chief incentive of using one is the increased space in knee and shoulder joints.
3. K-tapes improve the flow of blood and fluids. It can increase circulation and consequently, reduce the swelling in the region it’s applied on. It works by improving the blood flow within the skin. Apart from the blood, k-tapes can also improve the circulation of lymphatic fluids. The majority of this fluid is water but it also includes essentials such as proteins, useful chemicals, and good bacteria.
4. One of the leading kinesiology tape benefits is that it can potentially change the information that the central nervous system sends about pain. Changing the signal on pain pathways is an effective way to relieve pain.
5. Kinesiology tapes provide a subtle recoil to the applied region. This provides a perpetual and lingering therapeutic effect, which aids in healing and recovery apart from pain relief.
6. The effect of k-tapes is felt fast. You can continue to wear them for a few days. Some users also report increased mobility and muscle strength and continue to wear them after pain has been relieved. K-tapes also allow them to do actions and movements that were previously limited.
Though there are more kinesiology tape benefits, most of them are subjective.
How do k-tapes work?
Taping using kinesiology tapes works on the science of giving tissues support. Although other mechanisms exist to relieve pain by applying pressure to a particular region – the drawback of most of those mechanisms is that they compress the skin too much to be either comfortable for you or for the fluids and blood to flow freely.
Kinesiology tapes allow you to stay comfortable while your blood also keeps on flowing as regular. You can do exercises, take showers, and live your life completely normally while having the k-tapes on.
This is a clear advantage on top of other similar methods of pain relief.
K-tapes work by applying gentle pressure on the right areas. Over time, they can also enable weak muscles to become more efficient in doing day to day functions. They help remove congestion to further improve the circulation of oxygenated blood.
Pain disruption and dissipation are the key benefits of kinesiology tapes. Depending on the type, nature, and region of the problem, kinesiology tapes can be applied to the body part in question in different ways.
You can also use kinesiology tapes to improve your posture. Maintaining a good posture is easy – all you need to do is provide additional support to the muscles at work. This can be done by applying one or more layers of kinesiology tapes over those muscles.
Essentially, kinesiology tapes are great for relieving pain in a natural way. These help greatly in aiding the recovery process. Injury or no injury, they have plenty of use in our day to day life.
Please make sure that you don’t apply k-tapes directly over wounds. This can lead to necrosis, infection, or skin damage. Sometimes, it can also cause deep vein thrombosis which increases fluid flow ultimately leading to a blood clot that can dislodge. K-tapes are not meant to be applied directly over any type of wound. Consult with your physician if in doubt.
Who should be using kinesiology tapes?
Kinesiology tapes help in a variety of different issues. Here are the ideal candidates of k-tapes:
1. Those with joint pain, muscle or tendon injuries, or accident or disease-based tissue degeneration or weakness can use kinesiology tapes.
2. If your profession demands heavy physical labor and repetitive movements then kinesiology tapes are a great way to keep the pain away and the muscles flexible. This includes people who work in factories, construction sites, mechanic shops, personal assistance, mining, and so on.
3. Those who suffer from joint pain are the most ideal candidates for k-tapes.
4. People with desk jobs and mostly sedentary lifestyles can also use kinesiology tapes. Long working hours in the seating position can damage certain tissues. Using k-tapes to mitigate part of the pain can go on to improving your lifestyle to a great degree.
5. Physically active people or fitness-lovers who indulge in cycling, golfing, jogging or athletes who are associated with various sports are both great candidates for kinesiology tapes.
6. If you have complications arising out of bad sleeping habits or bad posture in general, then the after-effects of such complications can be mitigated with the help of kinesiology tapes.
Kinesiology tapes are commonly applied on the lower back, calves, hamstrings, elbows, knees, shoulders, shins, and wrists. They can decrease pain, improve posture and muscle support, improve athletic performance, support the internal pain relief system, as well as increase blood circulation and decrease muscle-borne inflammation.
Kinesiology tape knee
Kinesiology tapes work for knee pain. You can recover from all types of knee pains and knee injuries using the right application of kinesiology tapes.
Various recent studies have found the link between using kinesiology tapes and their healing ability on knee joints. Knee kinesiology tapes can also be used to improve joint mobility while reducing knee joint pain.
Kinesiology tapes are also commonly used in treating the after-effects of osteoarthritis. They can also be used to directly treat multiple knee complications.
The knees are one of the most vital body parts. Knee injuries and pain can be relieved by combining a few different techniques. However, in almost all cases, the recovery process can be sped up if you use k-tapes.
Cut the right-sized strips and apply them in an interlocking fashion to cover and hold the affected region completely. The pressure you feel shouldn’t be too much, neither should it be too light. Make sure there’s plenty of elasticity for your knee to move around. The rotation of the knees won’t be affected no matter how strongly you grip them with k-tapes, but it still helps to keep some headroom for movement at the application stage itself.
You can keep k-tapes applied for several days without affecting your knee mobility in any way. If anything, they might actually improve your mobility beyond recovery.
Kinesiology tape shoulder
Kinesiology tapes also work for shoulder pain. Application is a little more complicated in the case of shoulders but with expert help or a little bit of research, you too can get it right.
K-tapes are, in fact, one of the most common treatments for residual shoulder pain. They are used for all types of pain, regardless of the cause of origin.
They help decrease the pain in the shoulders, manage lymphedema, facilitate normal muscle contractions and movements, and support the shoulder joints.
Shoulder pain can also decrease your rotator cuff strength as well as the range of motion. Kinesiology tapes can help you regain both strength and motion.
Kinesiology tape neck
There are different kinds of neck pains. Kinesiology tapes help patients with myofascial pain originating from force trauma, psychological stress, bad posture, depression, insomnia, and so on.
K-tapes not only alleviate pain but also provide muscle support. You can also expect reduced swelling and a swift healing process with k-tapes.
Sports injuries are a common way to get neck pains. K-tapes are, therefore, popular with athletes dealing with neck pains and injuries.
Kinesiology tapes allow better support that’s also very comfortable for the neck. Over time, they will help you regain the full range of your motion. Even if you had limited motion before, longer usage of k-tapes can easily provide a greater range of motion in most cases.
Kinesiology tape elbow
Kinesiology taping is a quick and efficient methodology for offering support to the elbow and can assist with decreasing irritation. It’s a great way to relieve elbow pain swiftly.
Kinesiology tape is applied around the boundaries of the elbow, or straight over the affected joints, ligaments, or muscles. The tape has a uni-directional stretch, as we mentioned, and it mimics the human skin quite ingeniously – allowing your elbows to move comfortably and naturally.
As such, you can easily keep using kinesiology tapes for days if not a week without it affecting your normal elbow movements at all.
The main benefit of applying k-tapes to a painful or injured elbow is the faster recovery when supplemented with mild exercises geared towards recovering mobility and muscular strength.
Kinesiology tape ankle
You can get rid of ankle pain as well as a lateral sprain with a k-tape. It also helps provide much-needed stability in the ankles. Instability, weakness, pain, injuries, etc. can quickly lead to chronic pain, sprains, and even the tearing of ligaments. The tearing of ligaments and tendons can, in turn, lead to more complications in your ankle.
K-tapes can be a great way to recuperate from such complications early on. Though k-tapes are not a replacement for more serious and methodological recovery processes such as surgeries, most ankle-based problems and injuries can be cured faster with the correct application of k-tapes.
Applying k-tapes on the ankle is very easy. Though there are multiple ways to go about it, you should ideally start from the inside part of the ankle. Now turn the ankle to the inside as you apply the k-tape to the outside. Take the second strip and wrap it around your ankle as well as the Achilles tendon, taking it above the heel.
Kinesiology tape lower back
The lower back is one of the most problematic areas. Many of us suffer from chronic lower back pain. It can be caused by a sedentary lifestyle or overall inactivity of the muscle groups that form our lower back.
Kinesiology tapes are a great way to support the lower back to continue your lifestyle. K-tapes can also be used to relieve lower back pain. For example, if your daily job includes sitting for long hours, and it leads to pain sometimes, then it’s recommended to use multiple layers of k-tapes to provide better support to your lower back.
The mild pressure and therapeutic effect that k-tapes have are greatly beneficial for your lower back and upper hips area.
Apart from relieving lower back pain and pressure, k-tapes can also provide proprioceptive support. They can also help improve circulation in order to promote the natural healing process.
Pain relief is generally felt immediately. You can return to a better posture and normal range of motion within a few days. K-tapes can reduce chronic pain and inflammation in your lower back region better if you use them with mild exercises.
There are several techniques to apply kinesiology tape to your lower back. You can also use k-tapes to train the lumbopelvic region. It improves the flexibility and strength of the lower back region.