If you’ve ever attended a sports game or athletic event you’ve probably seen the bright colorful tape on various parts of athletes’ bodies. To the untrained eye, it looks likenothing more than a fun way to stand out, but it’s actually called Kinesio tape.
Kinesio tape was actually created to mimic the skin’s elasticity so you can use your full range of motion. When the tape is applied to your body, it recoils slightly, gently lifting your skin. It is believed that this helps to create a microscopic space between your skin and the tissues underneath it.
But many people are still left with the question of whether or not it actually works. Well, keep reading to find out.
What is Kinesiology Tape Used For?
Kinesio tape can be used for a variety of reasons as recommended by physical therapists and doctors. For starters, Kinesio tape can be used to help with an overall treatment for an injury. It’s also said that it’s most effective when used in conjunction with treatments like manual therapy.
Kinesio tape can also be used to provide extra support to weak muscles or joints that need it. Unlike other forms of medical tape, Kinesio tape lets you move freely, and studies show it can actually increase the range of motion.
Another great use for Kinesio tape is to help muscles that lost function or that have gotten used to an unhealthy way of working. For example, correcting the posture in your beck and back, as well as stroke patients who are learning how to walk.
Athletes use Kinesio tape to help enhance their performance and protect them from injuries. Runners who participate and marathons or longer events can often be seen using Kinesio tape.
Kinesio tape can also be used to improve the long-term appearance of scars after surgery or injury. It’s important to note that Kinesio tape should never be used on an open wound.
Who Should Use Kinesio Tape?
Kinesio tape can be used by essentially anyone. However, there are many instances in which you should not use Kinesio tape:
- Open wounds
- Deep vein thrombosis
- Active cancer
- Lymph node removal
- Fragile skin
If you are experiencing pain or feel that Kinesio tape can help improve performance, we recommend ruling out any potentially serious injuries that may be causing you pain or discomfort. While we always welcome alternative methods to treat pain, you want to also make sure there isn’t an underlying condition such as flat foot or lack of stretching before a workout.
Does it really work?
For a lot of people, Kinesio tape works very well. But there is still a lot of research that needs to be done in order to successfully show it’s capabilities. Some people report no changes or improvements after using the tape, while others swear by its results.