The Wonders of Kinesio Tape
Also known as KT Tape, or branded under the name SpiderTech, at first blush Kinesio Tape doesn't appear to be anything out of the ordinary. It looks and acts like tape. But, it is not your everyday, run-of-the-mill sports tape. It does something special and scientific, and that something feels really good. People see it on me (sometimes I'm covered in it!) when I teach my classes or am at the gym and will ask how it works. So I was thrilled to get such a great technical explanation from my chiropractor, Dr. Bradley Grossman, who originally "taped me up" after a fall on the ice. The only thing I need to add is that if you get the cut-outs, make sure you break along all of the perforated lines first, before you start peeling off the adhesive backing.
WHAT IS KINESIO TAPE?
Kinesio Tape is specialized tape that is applied over the muscle to lower pain and inflammation. It is also used to relax the fatigued muscles and also support muscle movement throughout the day.
Kinesio Tape is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process and to provide extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting.
HOW IT WORKS
The Kinesio Tape pulls the upper layers of skin, creating more space between the dermis and the muscle. The space created relieves pressure on the lymph channels in the area between the muscle and the dermis, creating more space for lymph flow and thus better lymph drainage through an affected area. This space also houses various nerve receptors that send specific information to the brain. When the space between the epidermis and the muscle is compressed, such as during an injury, these nerve receptors are compressed and send information to the brain regarding continuous touch, light touch, cold, pain, pressure, and heat. This information causes the brain to send out certain signals to the body on how to react to particular stimuli. Kinesio Tape alters the information that these receptors send to the brain and causes a less reactive response in the body, allowing the body to work in a more normal manner and removing some of the roadblocks that normally slow down the healing process.
The tape alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. This lifting affect forms convolutions in the skin thus increasing interstitial space and allowing for decreased inflammation, reduced pain and inflammation, enhanced performance, injury prevention and promotion of good circulation and healing, and assisting the return to homeostasis.
Kinesio Tape is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while allowing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion. It reduces swelling, scar tissue, muscle activity and pain and improves muscle contraction, healing, nerve receptors and posture.
CARING FOR YOUR APPLICATION
- Use precaution when putting on or taking off articles of clothing so that the edges of your application do not catch on the clothing.
- Kinesio Tape can be worn while bathing, showering, swimming, etc. When drying off, pat or blot your application dry.
- Do not place direct heat on your application including heating pads, hot packs, blow dryers, etc. This will result in the adhesive over-adhering to the skin and making your application difficult to remove.
REMOVING YOUR APPLICATION
- Kinesio Tape application can be worn for a minimum of 2-3 days.
- Begin slowly removing the tape in the direction of hair growth.
- Use one hand to remove the tape and the other hand to press against the skin.
- Gently rubbing the skin after the application is removed can reduce sensitivity.
- Do not remove the tape too quickly as this can irritate the skin.
Copyright © 2016 Dr. Bradley Grossman