Kinesiology tape is commonly used clinically to try and achieve the following:
- Reduce pain
- Drain swelling
- Improve posture
- Improve function
- Facilitate early return to activity or sport
- Improve sporting performance.
Fundamentally tape causes a form of decompression between the skin and the tissue underneath. When an elastic membrane (tape) is applied to another elastic material (skin) the result is often a series of wrinkles in both the tape and the skin.
This decompression of the skin and underlying tissue leads to 3 main effects:
- The elastic properties of tape induce a vertical lift of skin (via the formation of wrinkles) from the underlying tissue.
- This decompresses the space between skin and muscle. This space (subcutaneous space) contains lots of important stuff like nerve ending, blood vessels etc
- This decompression promotes improved blood and lymphatic flow into and out of the taped area.
- This allows the more rapid removal of injury waste products and pain generating chemicals, and promotes healing.
Aiding the clearance of a large bruise or hematoma is a good example of a time when the fluid effect is working
- Tape has longitudinal stretch properties of about 140-180%.
- These stretch properties are similar to those of skin, muscle and connective tissue.
- This helps the body's stabilization system by adding a little extra stability, spring and awareness of stretch to muscles, ligaments, tendons joints etc
- It may also have a role in restoring normal slide and glide mechanics between layers of tissue
- The presence of tape on the skin helps to create a non-painful stimulus from the area this makes it more difficult for the nervous to feel pain in that area (Pain gate)
- The decompressive properties of the tape (think wrinkles) reduce pressure and compression on nerve endings just under the skin making them fire less.
- Tape placed over really tight muscles seems to reduce the response to being stretched, making them feel less tight and sore.
- Tape placed over weak, sore and injured tissue will act to aid the bodies 'active' stabilization by altering the activity and feedback from nerves in the skin and underlying tissue.
Athletes that can benefit from ROCK Tape:
- Cross Country
- Track and Field