If you’ve watched a basketball game or football match, you might have noticed strips of colorful tape splayed in patterns across athletes’ arms and legs. It’s called Kinesiotaping – a newly popularized modality used by therapists and trainers to provide support, reduce swelling, lessen pain, and improve performance. The original Kinesio tape was developed by Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase in the late 1970s, who wanted a tape that provided support but didn’t limit the movement of athletes.
Most tapes used in Kinesiology therapy are made from a combination of latex-free hypoallergenic cotton, spandex, and medical-grade adhesive. The thickness of the tape is designed to approximate the thickness of the skin. It is really stretchy and can stretch around 40 to 60 percent of its resting length, allowing it to provide support without limiting your body’s movements. It is also water-resistant and strong enough to stay on for 3 to 5 days. This elasticity is important because it helps therapists use more tension to turn on or excite a muscle.
Here’s why Kinesio tape is used in sports injury prevention and treatment:
- Prevent joint irritation – When applied correctly, Kinesio tape works by lifting the skin from the tissues underneath it. It is believed that this helps create a microscopic space between your skin and the tissues. For instance, if it is applied over the knee, it can increase the space in the knee joint. Even though the increase in space is slight, it can help reduce the chance of joint irritation.
- Reduce pain levels – All of your tissues including your skin contain nerve receptors that feel temperature, touch, and pain. With Kinesiology taping done by a licensed physiotherapist in Dubai, you can create a lift that unloads these tissues. As a result, it alters the pain signals going to the brain by compression or decompression. When the brain receives a different signal, it’s going to respond differently.
- Trigger point release – A trigger point is described as a sensitive area in the muscle or connective tissue that becomes painful when compressed. Kinesio taping has been used to lift the skin over these tensed, knotted muscles. When the area is decompressed, trigger point tension is decreased. Thus, nerve receptors send a new signal to the brain, reducing pain and increasing flexibility.
- Improve circulation – Kinesio tapes also play a role in sports injury treatment because it helps in boosting the circulation of blood and fluids. It has been used in conjunction with other treatments like manual therapy. According to a 2017 study, Kinesio taping not only improves blood flow but also that of lymphatic fluids in the skin. This could help regulate swelling and heal bruises faster especially for those recovering from injuries.
- Re-educate muscles – When you are wearing a Kinesio tape on your body, you feel the sensation of tape which makes you more aware of how you’re standing or moving. This is why it is used by physical therapists to correct posture in the head and neck. It is believed that Kinesio taping can help retrain muscles that have lost function or have gotten used to an unhealthy way of moving.
To understand how Kinesio taping will benefit your condition, consult with a physical therapist trained in its proper application. The experts at Scandinavian Physiotherapy Center DMCC can show you how Kinesio taping is applied in patterns that will help your specific problem. They are a leading Dubai physiotherapy center offering a wide range of specialties such as manual therapy, musculoskeletal physiotherapy, sports rehabilitation, and more. Book an appointment today by calling +971 4 551 6126.