The 5 W’s of Kinesio Tape

Many people may have seen professional athletes cover tender areas with colorful tape such as famed Chicago Bull Derrick Rose and soccer all-star Mario Balotelli. These strands are pieces of Kinesio Tape which are heavily used in the active community among injured or recovering athletes.

Developed in 1979 by Japanese chiropractor, Dr. Kenzo Kase, Kinesio Tape has become a favorable go-to solution for strained muscles due to the successful method supporting this wonder product. Every media appearance made by Kase’s tape encourages a new handful of questions and analyzation regarding its performance and reliability.

The 5 W’s

What is it?
Kinesio Tape is a form of athletic tape created to aid the pain relief process in tendons, muscles, and ligaments. It is made out of elastic, latex free fibers. Kinesio Tape saw the birth of its recognition during the 2008 Olympics when a handful of athletes were sporting the colorful, questionable pieces of tape on stressed body parts. It has become easily recognized by the vibrant colors offered and its intricate placements on the body.

Why do people use it as opposed to other forms of therapy?
For many years, active individuals would turn to acupuncture, athletic tape, massage therapy, etc. for muscle recovery. Many patients and therapists noticed some drawbacks in traditional white taping methods were its suppression of movement and deceleration of the body’s healing process. Kinesio Tape is comprised of a uniquely engineered elastic made to mock the appearance and functionality of human skin. Unlike other forms of therapy, Kinesio Tape can be used during a workout without compromising an athletes routine. It promotes full motion and comfort for a variety of injuries at all active levels. The last thing any athlete wants is to alter their lifestyle whilst knowing an effective alternative exists.

Kinesio Tape has also become more convenient for consumers interested in using it. Rather than making time for an hour-long appointment or going through the trouble of cutting precise strands of tape, Kinesio Tape can now be found in pre-cut packages complete with taping instructions for particular aches and pains. These sort of products can be found at specialty athletic stores.

athlete-with-tape

An Olympian athlete uses blue Kinesio Tape on her right calf.

Who needs it?
The many uses of Kinesio Tape vary, as do the consumers who use the product. As photographed above, professional athletes and recreational individuals can appreciate the benefits of this extraordinary tape. This product is ideal for those who: need to restore affected muscles and ligaments, decrease body aches and pains, injury prevention during competition, and other common injuries associated with a physically active lifestyle. It can be work while swimming and during a marathon.

When should people use it?
Each body asks for assistance in its own way and time. Many individuals experiencing pain or soreness from a particular activity that employs kinesio tape as a common form of temporary relief, may begin applying the product at the time of discomfort. In many cases, such as minor calf strains, the tape can be applying by utilizing the Kinesio taping method, onto the calf around 15 minutes before physical activity. Tape should can be used to prevent injury, prevent further injury, and to provide temporary relief.

Where on the body is Kinesio Tape usually used?
The placement of the tape should correspond with the area of discomfort. When using the product, follow the Kinesio Taping Method provided by your doctor or from the instruction manual in the product package to strategically apply tape.

The Important “H”

The above questions yield informative answers however, we’re forgetting one essential question…

How does it work?
Kinesio Tape has proven success by performing the following functions:

  • Improving range of motion– The light cotton fabric and skin-like elasticity promote breathable tape that allows full motion range despite sweating, long-distances, and swimming.
  • Muscle support– Utilizing the proper Kinesio Taping method promotes strength to weakened muscles and prevents them from contracting or worsening an injury.
  • Improving blood circulation– This function reduces inflammation and chemical buildup.
  • Promotes natural healing– One of the biggest “wow” factors of this product besides its versatility is its ability to mock the body’s healing process and adapt to the activity to promote effective healing.

If any questions have gone unanswered or if you’re unsure about using Kinesio Tape for your injury, consult a medical professional for expert evaluation.