Kinesio Tape

If you ever sustained an injury affecting your muscles or bones, while undergoing rehabilitation with a physical therapist, they may have used Kinesio Tape (also termed KT tape) as one of the approaches to your treatment.

Once, KT tape was just used by physical therapists and rehabilitation experts to work with their clients. Yet, it is currently offered on the open market, and numerous recreational and aggressive competitors acquire it and put it on themselves.

Online tutorials exist which show people how to use KT tape properly, but many users still have a lot of inquiries about it.

KT Tape

Kinesio tape, also known as KT tape, was invented by a Japanese chiropractor called Dr Kenzo Kase in the 1970s. Dr Kase sought to develop a product that would be able to provide assistance without the constriction of mobility that is caused by the use of common medical adhesive.

KT tape is made of a special combination of nylon and cotton, letting it extend while keeping its stickiness, like how human skin stretches and still remains in place, not limiting your movement.

KT tape is now a popular tool among athletes of any level of competition, often used to provide extra support to the knees, ankles, or shoulders, or even to cover the shins, quads, or back area.

KT tape is usually vivid, slightly flexible, and two inches wide. Applying it in strips in specific configurations supplies assistance for the underlying structures, reduces inflammation, alleviates pain, increases posture, and boosts proprioception assisting in enhanced movement mastery.

Despite a lack of strong proof that KT tape has a significant effect on sports performance or accelerates healing, many athletes still vigorously endorse it.

It is commonly utilized in specialist rehabilitation centres, as well as through over-the-counter treatments which allow athletes to keep training even with some level of pain, instability, or musculoskeletal problem.

Kinesiology Tape Uses

Treating injuries

In some cases, physical therapists may make use of kinesiology taping to aid in the healing process of people who have been hurt.

The American Physical Therapy Association states that the best way to use kinesiology taping is by combining it with other therapies like manual therapy.

Schooley states that they employ kinesiology taping to help reduce pain and inflammation, though it only serves as an addition to other treatments they carry out.

Supporting weak zones

Kinesiology tape can be employed to provide extra reinforcement to muscles or ligaments that need assistance. If you suffer from patellofemoral stress syndrome, IT band friction syndrome, or Achilles tendonitis, then the application of kinesiology tape may help to alleviate the problem.

Kinesiology tape allows you to move naturally and unrestricted, as opposed to white medical or athletic tape. Studies have demonstrated that it can actually improve mobility and stamina. Research on sportspeople has indicated that if they use kinesiology tape on their worn-out muscles, their performance will be better.

Re-educating muscles

Kinesiology tape can aid in restoring the activity of muscles that no longer work correctly or that have become accustomed to an abnormal pattern of movement.

As an illustration, kinesiology taping can be used to modify the position of your head and neck. A research study from 2017 revealed the potential for utilizing it to advance how stroke patients ambulate. Reliable Source.

Physical therapists believe the odd sensation of tape placed on the body could be responsible for an increased awareness of posture and body movements.

Enhancing performance

Some athletes employ kinesiology taping to reach their maximum potential and guard themselves against harm during particular events.

Schooley noted that a large number of runners employ this particular tape for every marathon that they run. Putting the tape along the butt is used as a way of stimulating the muscle to stay active.

Managing scars

Though it is not a good idea to put kinesiology tape over a hurt area without any healing, research indicates that it could help make marks or marks from a surgery or injury look better gradually over time. It is essential to consult a physician before considering this remedy.

The Benefits Of KT Tape

The tape has been designed and made to have the same flexibility and extensibility as regular skin, meaning that you can put it on in large sections over your joints, legs and back and still keep full mobility, with no hindering of any kind of movements.

The upper side of the tape is exceptionally flexible and stretchy, while the side which touches your skin is a medical-quality adhesive that sticks firmly to your skin.

Improving circulation

It is believed that KT tape is helpful because when it is put onto the body in strips, the material’s flexible character causes it to draw back slightly, mildly pushing the skin up and off the fascia and tissues below it.

This minuscule area allows for boosted blood flow, which can send oxygenated blood and essential nutrients to tissues that require mending and it can aid and abet in the elimination of waste products. This technique of elevating the skin is analogous to how healing practices like cupping operates.

A small gap between the skin and underlying tissue may possibly be beneficial to the curing process and both cupping and KT Tap may create that space.

Allowing a gap between the skin and the layers beneath it can help boost blood flow to the skin, fascia, and muscles, as well as increase the circulation of lymphatic fluid.

The lymphatic system, which is frequently disregarded, is indispensable in curbing swelling by reducing liquid accumulation in body tissues as well as ferrying white blood cells and other immune cells to combat the sources of inflammation.

There is not a great deal of proof that KT tape is responsible for this phenomenon in particular, however, the notion makes sense based on the laws of nature.

May change signals on pain pathways

Certain physical therapists believe that the tape modifies the messages sent by your sensory nervous framework about agony and pressure in your body.

Dr Megann Schooley, board-certified clinical specialist in sports physical therapy and certified strength and conditioning specialist, explains it this way:

All of your body’s structures – skin, connective tissue, the layer of tissue covering or binding certain structures, and muscles – have sensory receptors that can sense pain, hot and cold temperatures, and touch. Your brain can tell where your body is and what it’s up to through the use of several receptors that give it a sense of proprioception. Kinesiology taping produces an upward pull that takes the pressure off the structures beneath it. Relaxing those tissues can alter the messages being sent to the brain. Schooley explained that when the brain is presented with a different stimulus, it will react differently.

Trigger points are a good example. Physiotherapists have employed kinesiology tape to raise the skin covering strained muscles which are in a tight, bunched-up state. When the pressure is released in a certain region, the pain sensors convey a fresh notification to the mind, leading to the relaxation of the trigger point.

A 2015 investigation discovered that when kinesiology tape and manual pressure were utilized together, there was a decrease in trigger point soreness as well as an increase in flexibility for individuals.

May improve the circulation of blood and fluids

If you have suffered a physical injury, using kinesiology tape could be of benefit in improving blood flow and diminishing inflammation in the injured region.

A 2017 research project demonstrated that the application of kinesiology tape can augment blood circulation in the epidermis. It may also improve the circulation of lymphatic fluids.

The majority of lymphatic liquid is composed of water, however, it is also comprised of proteins, microbes, and additional substances. The lymphatic system functions to regulate the accumulation of fluid and reduce swelling in the body.

The idea is that when kinesiology tape is placed on the skin, it increases the space underneath it and alters the pressure level in that region. The alteration in pressure facilitates an increase in the amount of lymphatic fluid that circulates.

Studies have had mixed results. Two recent experiments displayed that the use of kinesiology tape decreased the amount of fluid built up in both women who were dealing with breast cancer treatment and those who had total knee replacements.

Altering the direction of lymphatic liquid may expedite the mending of bruises.

Despite the limited scientific evidence, certain individuals claim that when adhesive tape is taken off bruised body parts, the taped-over area is discoloured compared to other parts that weren’t covered.

When not to tape

In certain situations, using kinesiology tape should be avoided. They include the following.

  • Open wounds. Using tape over a wound could lead to infection or skin damage.
  • Deep vein thrombosis. Increasing fluid flow could cause a blood clot to dislodge, which might be fatal.
  • Active cancer. Increasing the blood supply to a cancerous growth could be dangerous.
  • Lymph node removal. Increasing fluid where a node is missing could cause swelling.
  • Diabetes. If you have reduced sensation in some areas, you might not notice a reaction to the tape.
  • Allergy. If your skin is sensitive to adhesives, you could trigger a strong reaction.
  • Fragile skin. If your skin is prone to tearing, you should avoid placing tape on it.
Applying Kinesiology Tape

It would be a wise move to seek advice from a physical therapist that is well-versed in the proper method for applying kinesiology tape before attempting to apply it to yourself.

A physical therapist will instruct you on how to appropriately use the tape to provide relief from your particular issue. Adhesive tape can be laid down in an X, Y, I, or spreading arrangement contingent upon your objectives. You may also need both stabilization and decompression strips.

Your physical therapist can observe you perform the process of putting on and taking off the tape before you try it on your own.

“Taping is not a permanent solution,” Schooley says. It is essential to strengthen and develop your abilities to rectify the underlying issue.

  • Clean and dry the area first. Lotions and oils can prevent the tape from sticking.
  • Trim excess hair. Fine hair shouldn’t be a problem, but dense hair could keep the tape from getting a good grip on your skin.
  • For most treatments, you’ll start by tearing the backing paper in the centre.
  • Cut rounded corners at the ends of each strip if they don’t already have them. The rounded corners are less likely to get snagged against clothing and help to keep the tape on longer.
  • When you apply the first tab to anchor the strip, let the end recoil slightly after you take off the backing paper. You don’t want any stretch in the last two inches at either end, because those tabs are just to hold the tape in place. If you stretch the ends, the tape will pull your skin, which could cause irritation or make the tape detach sooner.
  • Keep your fingers on the packing paper to hold the tape. Touching the adhesive part will make it less sticky.
  • Your therapist can let you know how much stretch to use in the treatment area. To get a 75 per cent stretch, extend the tape as far as it will go and then release it about a quarter of its length.
  • When you stretch the tape, use the whole length of your thumb across the tape to get an even stretch.
  • After you apply the tape, rub the strip vigorously for several seconds. Heat activates the glue. Full adhesion usually takes around 20 minutes.

Showering With KT Tape

Two of the most frequently asked questions about KT Tape are whether it is possible to take a shower with it and if it can get wet.

The positive aspect is that the response to both inquiries is affirmative. It’s ok to bathe with KT tape on, and it can handle getting wet, like when you sweat, swim, take a shower, go running in the rain, or in other circumstances.

This medical-grade adhesive can repel water, however, the top part, made up of a combination of nylon and cotton that is flexible, will take up some moisture when exposed to it but will dry out and maintain its properties.

KT tape will still give the desired aid and possess its natural stretchiness regardless of if it gets wet.

Once you’ve finished showering or swimming while wearing KT tape, gently pat it with a towel to dry it. You may experience a touch of dampness, however, it should be dry within a few hours.

How Long Does KT Tape Last

KT tape, consisting of medical grade adhesive and a stretchy nylon/cotton mixture, can remain in place for multiple days depending on the location of the body and the wearer’s workout and bathing habits.

It is usually possible for KT tape to stay in place for 3 to 5 days with only one application.

Drawbacks Of KT Tape

It is considered by many people to be safe for most people to use KT tape. Don’t put KT tape on any injured or broken skin.

If you have skin that is particularly fragile, thin, or delicate, it is recommended that you test the KT tape on a small part of your skin before applying.

It would be preferable to have a qualified individual such as a physiotherapist or a trainer apply KT tape, instead of relying on tutorials and online videos to do it yourself.

Even though you are utilizing KT tape as part of your treatment, it is still essential to pay attention to your body’s needs.

In conclusion, attempting KT tape when experiencing minor joint or muscle aches, ligament damage, or a muscle strain, should be harmless and may perhaps help lower inflammation and discomfort while still allowing you to stay fit.

To get the most out of using KT tape, it is best to consult a physical therapist and learn how to correctly put it on. Also, do not rely on the tape for supporting a joint if you have an acute injury.

Safely Removing Kinesio Tape

If you have the tape on for more than a brief period, it could start to become slack. Here are some ideas to help you remove the tape without any pain.

  • Apply some oil (like baby oil or olive oil) or lotion on top of the tape to loosen the strip.
  • Remove it slowly. Don’t yank. Don’t pull up.
  • After nudging up one end of the strip, press down on your skin to separate it from the tape.
  • Pull the tape back against itself, rather than straight up away from you. Compress your skin gently while pulling the tape back in the direction of the end tab.
  • Walk your fingers along your skin as you go.
  • If your skin is irritated or damaged, don’t reapply the tape. Consider talking talk to your physical therapist or doctor.

 

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