You may have watched a match on TV or seen a professional game of some sport and noticed brightly coloured tape running all over athletes bodies. This is called kinesio tape. There seems to be a lot of conjecture surrounding this tape, the theory of kinesio tape and how it actually works. All I know is as a volleyball player, I swear by it. At first I was pretty skeptical and was basically giving a lot of players cheek for wearing pink tape, but once I hurt my shoulder…with it on I felt great, with it off I felt pain. There had to be something behind it. So you believe me this is a picture of me with it on my shoulder playing. I also had it on my hip flexor after suffering an injury, and it helped immensely.
So considering that I thought this stuff was magic, I thought I would do a little research on the theory behind it. Keep in mind, that the number of studies and research backing is still lacking. But I know it 100% works for me. Apparently there are 5 ways which it works.
- It works by acting on the skin. If you haven’t felt kinesio tape before it has a great capacity to expand and contract again. Apparently this works to stimulate the sensory receptors of the skin when you move. Which through a complex process can decrease pain. If you want more scientific info I can post some links, but it gets a bit boring.
- It also acts on the circulatory and lymph system. The elasticness of the tape can help to ‘open up’ the lymphatic channels at a skin level, and allows the capillaries to fill and allow more fluid to move. Because of the elastic properties it also creates a gentle massage effect, which helps to create pressure changes and open and close the lymphatic vessels. Circulation is improved, supposedly helping reduce trigger points.
- Fascia is an integral part to the body when regarding pain and movement. Basically everything in the body is connected by fascia and it can affect your pain and movement dramatically. Biomechanis are altered if the fascia is tight, compensation in other areas occurs, and you basically end up with a heap of pain. This tightness and contraction of the fascia can theoretically be partially released by using Kinesio Tape. It is thought to help reduce the contraction of the fascia.
- The elasticity of the Kinesio tape is supposed to help enhance the function of the muscle fibres as well as the tendons. If taped correctly, the Kineso tape can help control the neural feedback.
- It is also thought that Kinesio tape can stimulate the proprioceptors in the joint and thereby help enhance joint function.
So, these are all proposed mechanisms of Kinesio tape….in reality it’s quite new, and there are yet to be a sufficient amount of studies done to pin point exactly how it works. My theory on it though, is it has continuously helped me when applied correctly, so I am a firm believer. Why it works? I don’t care, only that it does 🙂
We’ll chat a bit more about the application of it on Laurens Fitness and give some examples of when it’s used best. Cheers!