What is Kinesiology Tape?
Kinesiology taping (or Kinesio taping) is applying a thin, stretchy, cotton-based therapeutic tape that can benefit a wide variety of injuries and inflammatory conditions. It is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, which allows it to be worn without binding, constricting, or restricting movement.
You would have noticed that more and more professional athletes use kinesiology taping to improve their sporting performance. Physiotherapists use kinesiology taping every day to assist muscles and their interaction with your body. Not only does this potentially provide pain-free movement, but it also helps your physiotherapist to determine which muscles or joints require additional control. They can then prescribe the best exercises for your body. For advice on whether kinesiology tape is suitable for you, please consult your physiotherapist.
What is Kinesiology Taping?
Kinesiology tape is an elastic cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive. Therapeutic kinesiology tape may benefit a wide variety of musculoskeletal and sports injuries.
Kinesiology tape is almost identical to human skin in both thickness and elasticity, allowing kinesio tape to be worn without binding, constricting, or restricting your movement.
Clinically, we use kinesiology tape for treating athletic injuries and a variety of physical disorders. Japanese practitioners were the primary users of the therapeutic kinesiology tape. By 1988 the tape had been adopted by Japanese Olympic and professional athletes before spreading across the world.
Professional athletes use kinesiology taping to improve sporting performance, prevent injury and allow athletes to return to sport quicker.
How is Kinesiology Tape Different from Conventional Strapping Tape?
Kinesiology tape differs from other types of strapping tape in both its form and function. Most types of strapping tape are non-elastic and are wrapped firmly around an injured joint or muscle to provide rigid support and restrict movement. For this reason, the rigid strapping tape needs removal after short periods.
Kinesiology tape differs. It has unique elastic properties that allow the kinesiology tape to provide dynamic support. This active support provides an almost second layer of support that may assist weaker muscles. Plus, due to its elastic properties, kinesiology tape allows your body parts full motion to enable a near-normal range of motion.
Kinesiology tape can be worn during intense exercise, in the shower or even swimming. This application longevity means that the tape can potentially guide your movement while you stay active.
What are the Benefits of Kinesiology Taping?
Kinesiology tape has a comprehensive array of therapeutic benefits. These therapeutic benefits are available to the injured area 24-hours a day.
1. Pain Relief
Kinesiology taping relieves pain through different mechanisms. These could either physical or neurological mechanisms.
- Physically, the kinesiology tape’s lifting action may help relieve pressure on pain receptors directly under the skin. This reduced pressure may provide both short and medium-term pain relief.
- Chronic pain could improve via sensory stimulation of some nerve fibres.
2. Swelling Reduction
- By lifting this skin, kinesiology taping provides a negative pressure under the tape. This vacuum may allow the lymphatic drainage channels to drain swelling and other inflammatory cells away from the injured area.
3. Lymphoedema Reduction
- Based on kinesiology taping’s lift and de-pressuring principle, it may be useful in the reduction of lymphoedema.
4. Reduced Muscle Fatigue, Cramps and DOMS.
- Exercise and repeated muscle contractions produce post-exercise byproducts such as lactic acid. Lactic acid can cause poor muscle performance, fatigue cramping and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
- Kinesiology tape may help remove lactic acid and other exercise byproducts from the region, assisting muscle performance and reducing fatigue, cramps, and DOMS.
5. Assists Weak or Injured Muscles
- Kinesiology tape may provide both physical and neurological support for your dynamic structures, such as muscles. This support may assist everyday activities, high-level sport or potentially low tone children.
6. Quicker Return to Sport, Work and Play
- By supporting weak or painful structures, kinesiology tape may allow injured athletes to return to sport quicker than without dynamic support.
FAQ’s about Kinesiology Taping
What is Physiotherapy Treatment?
Physiotherapists help people affected by illness, injury or disability through exercise, manual joint therapy, soft tissue techniques, education and advice. Physiotherapists maintain physical health, allow patients to manage pain and prevent disease for people of all ages. Physiotherapists help encourage pain relief, injury recovery, enabling people to stay playing a sport, working or performing daily living activities while assisting them to remain functionally independent.
There is a multitude of different physiotherapy treatment approaches.
Acute & Sub-Acute Injury Management
Hands-On Physiotherapy Techniques
Your physiotherapist's training includes hands-on physiotherapy techniques such as:
- Joint Mobilisation (gentle joint gliding techniques)
- Joint Manipulation
- Physiotherapy Instrument Mobilisation (PIM)
- Minimal Energy Techniques (METs)
- Soft Tissue Techniques
Your physiotherapist has skilled training. Physiotherapy techniques have expanded over the past few decades. They have researched, upskilled and educated themselves in a spectrum of allied health skills. These skills include techniques shared with other healthcare practitioners. Professions include exercise physiologists, remedial massage therapists, osteopaths, acupuncturists, kinesiologists, chiropractors and occupational therapists, to name a few.
Your physiotherapist is a highly skilled professional who utilises strapping and taping techniques to prevent and assist injuries or pain relief and function.
Alternatively, your physiotherapist may recommend a supportive brace.
Acupuncture and Dry Needling
Many physiotherapists have acquired additional training in acupuncture and dry needling to assist pain relief and muscle function.
Physiotherapists have been trained in the use of exercise therapy to strengthen your muscles and improve your function. Physiotherapy exercises use evidence-based protocols where possible as an effective way that you can solve or prevent pain and injury. Your physiotherapist is highly skilled in prescribing the "best exercises" for you and the most appropriate "exercise dose" for you, depending on your rehabilitation status. Your physiotherapist will incorporate essential pilates, yoga and exercise physiology components to provide you with the best result. They may even use Real-Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy so that you can watch your muscles contract on a screen as you correctly retrain them.
- Muscle Stretching
- Core Exercises
- Strengthening Exercises
- Balance Exercises
- Proprioception Exercises
- Real-Time Ultrasound Physiotherapy
- Swiss Ball Exercises
Biomechanical assessment, observation and diagnostic skills are paramount to the best treatment. Your physiotherapist is a highly skilled health professional. They possess superb diagnostic skills to detect and ultimately avoid musculoskeletal and sports injuries. Poor technique or posture is one of the most common sources of a repeat injury.
Aquatic water exercises are an effective method to provide low bodyweight exercises.
Sports physio requires an extra level of knowledge and physiotherapy to assist injury recovery, prevent injury and improve performance. For the best advice, consult a Sports & Exercise Physiotherapist.
Women's Health Physiotherapy is a particular interest group of therapies.
Not only can your physiotherapist assist you in sport, but they can also help you at work. Ergonomics looks at the best postures and workstations set up for your body at work or home. Whether it be lifting technique improvement, education programs or workstation setups, your physiotherapist can help you.
Plus Much More
Your physiotherapist is a highly skilled body mechanic. A physiotherapist has particular interests in certain injuries or specific conditions. For advice regarding your problem, please get in touch with your PhysioWorks team.
What Can Kinesiology Tape Assist?
Kinesiology taping may assist the following conditions. Would you please seek the advice of your treating physiotherapist?
Acute Soft Tissue Injuries
Hypotonia - Low Muscle Tone
Joint Proprioception Retraining
Swelling and Edema
Kinesiology tape has a comprehensive array of therapeutic benefits. Because kinesiology taping can usually be left on for several days or up to a week, these therapeutic benefits are available to the injured area 24 hours a day, significantly accelerating the healing process from trauma, injuries and inflammatory conditions.
Benefits of Kinesiology Taping
Pain Relief via Structural Support for Weak or Injured Body Parts
Kinesiology tape is a flexible elastic tape that moves with your body. The supple elasticity provides supports to your body parts without the tape slipping.
By supporting your body part, kinesiology tape can provide you with pain relief and muscular support to help control body parts affected by muscle inhibition.
Kinesiology tape potentially assists your muscle strength via physical assistance. It also provides tactile feedback through the skin, e.g. proprioception boost. This phenomenon may help both the non-disabled athlete to enhance their performance and hypotonic, e.g. children with low muscle tone.
Kinesiology provides a passive lift to your skin via its elastic properties. This vacuum effect allows your lymphatic and venous drainage systems to drain and swollen or bruised tissue quicker than without the kinesiology tape.
It is also thought that this same principle can assist the removal of exercise byproducts like lactic acid that may contribute to post-exercise soreness, e.g. delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).
More info: Strapping & Supportive Taping
Does Kinesiology Taping Help to Hasten Your Recovery Time from Swelling or Bruising?
Researchers, Bialoszewski et al. 2009, have discovered that kinesiology tape can quickly reduce joint swelling (oedema) and a bruise (haematoma). The theory is that the elasticity of kinesiology tape lifts the skin away from the swollen tissue below by loosely "crinkling" the skin. This skin lift is known as a sub-dermal vacuum, which provides less physical resistance to removing the retained fluid by your lymphatic and venous drainage systems.
Test this theory out by a quick squeeze of your skin. It will resemble an "orange-peel" appearance. You'll notice loose skin between your fingers. The lower skin tension allows your venous and lymphatic systems to drain the sub-dermal fluid away quicker. Now isn't that clever!
FAQ's about Kinesiology Taping
- How is Kinesiology Tape Different from Conventional Strapping Tape
- What Conditions Could Kinesiology Tape Help?
- Benefits of Kinesiology Taping
- Can Kinesiology Taping Reduce Your Swelling and Bruising?
More info: Strapping & Supportive Taping
Physiotherapy Private Health Insurance Rebates
PhysioWorks Physiotherapy and Remedial Massage are more affordable than you think. Your Private Health Insurance (PHI) usually pays for most of your treatment fees, leaving you with only a small gap payment.
However, Private Health Funds vary their rebates payable depending upon the level of cover you have taken. Some funds have kept up with the costs of modern medicine whereas, sadly, others haven't, with rebates similar to what they were a decade ago.
HICAPS - Instant Health Fund Claims
Most health funds are members of the HICAPS instant claims system. Swipe your health insurance card at our reception counter, and you can instantly claim your physiotherapy treatment via our online Hicaps System. Remedial Massage is claimable via Hicaps for some but not all funds. Please visit Hicaps for the latest funds for more information, which can use their instant claiming system.
Private health insurance rebates are available for all of our physiotherapists. Instant claims are possible via our in-practice Hicaps system.
- All Private Health Insurance Funds including BUPA, Medibank Private, HCF
- For a complete list of Hicaps instant claim funds, see here: Hicaps Funds
- HCF More for Muscles Program
PhysioWorks practitioners are registered providers for government, Workcover and insurance companies, including:
- Australia Post; Coles Myer; Woolworths
- Department of Veterans' Affairs
- CTP & Sports Insurers
The internet is full of potentially unreliable information. Please source trusted healthcare information from reputable websites such as the following.