Kinesio taping is a form of taping used by physiotherapists to aid recovery from injury and reduce pain. It is a stretchy form of taping that feels supportive but does not impair movement. It is hypoallergenic and latex free and so is normally tolerated well by clients and can be left on for up to 5 days- prolonging the effects of your physiotherapy treatment and helping clients carry out their rehabilitation programme.
How does Kinesio taping work?
Kinesio taping has several effects on your body including decreasing pain, reducing swelling and inflammation, delaying muscle fatigue, redistributing stress and strain and normalising muscle tone.
Kinesio taping and its effects on pain
Kinesio taping when applied correctly reduces the brains perception of pain. Sensors in the skin, muscles and tendons detect the stretch of the tape when you move. This additional sensation interferes with and alters signals directed to the brain. This alters the way the brain perceives these signals – effectively turning the pain “volume” down.
Kinesio taping and its effects on reducing swelling and inflammation
The stretchy nature of kinesio tape lifts the skin creating space between the many layers of skin for the waste products of inflammation to be removed. Careful application can aid the removal of fluids through the lymphatic system continuing the effects of massage and soft tissue work outside the treatment room.
Delay of muscle fatigue
There is some evidence in the research that suggests Kinetic taping can delay fatigue of muscle. It is thought that the communication between the muscle and brain is improved allowing the body to become more efficient.
Normalisation of muscle tone
Pain and inflammation in and around a joint interferes with the body’s ability to activate muscles appropriately. You often find some muscles become over active whilst other muscles become underactive. Your body’s ability to balance and co-ordinate movements becomes impaired putting you at risk of further injury and delaying rehabilitation. With application of kinesio tape across a joint movement patterns can be reinstated by rebalancing muscle firing via stretch reflexes.
Redistribution of stress and load
With its stretch like properties, kinesio tape is able to activate your body’s natural support system giving you a feeling of stability and control without feeling restricted. Bulky braces which only add generalised compression or rigid tape which impairs movement can now be replaced with a more rehab friendly alternative.
It is no quick fix and will only work alongside appropriate strength and conditioning, but it’s certainly a useful tool to facilitate you rehabilitation.