Kinesiology Tape: Why The Hype?
If you've been watching recent sporting events on TV, you've probably noticed the influx of colourful tape covering the bodies of some of your favourite athletes. From runners, to high jumpers to divers, athletes are increasingly turning to this mysterious tape to boost their performance and protect their bodies. This leads to an obvious and important question: what is this tape, and what does it do?
Introducing Kinesiology Tape
The answer is simple: it's kinesiology tape. This sounds like a fancy term, I know, but in reality it represents a fairly intuitive upgrade to the medical and sports taping that has been going on for a long time. It began in the 1970s when a Japanese physician noted that current taping practices at that time involved rigid, restrictive adhesive tapes. While these taping methods helped to provide muscle and joint support to athletes and patients, they were very restrictive and reduced range of motion, making top-level sporting performance difficult. He found this tape also failed to support the affected muscles as well as he felt it could, and in some cases, even prevented the healing process from effectively taking place.
The Rise of Kinesiology Tape
Once the problems in traditional taping practices had been identified, the next step was developing a product to take sports taping to the next level. That's where modern kinesiology tape enters the story. New tapes were developed that were designed to mimic the elasticity of skin, allowing for a full range of motion without sacrificing support and protection. New-age materials were called upon, allowing scientists and physicians to produce tape that far surpassed the capacities of previous tapes. This leads us to today, where a range of companies supply this state-of-the-art miracle tape to the masses, primarily RockTape, KT Tape and Mueller. Conveniently for you, all three of these top brand names are available from Health and Care, with free UK delivery on all orders.
Who is it For?
The simple answer to this question is nearly everyone. This is due to the wide range of benefits that kinesiology tape can have. Pain, fatigue, stiffness and inflammation are problems that plague pretty much everyone, and they also happen to be some of the key areas that modern kinesiology tape has been designed to combat.Whether you're training for a marathon, preparing before an important match, or just trying to get through the day without pain or stiffness, kinesiology tape may be just what you're looking for.
Comfortable and non-restrictive, kinesiology tape has been used to treat a variety of conditions. These include lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome and stiff muscles, and that's only the tip of the iceberg. In recent years, pregnant mothers have even begun experimenting with kinesiology tape, and have found it to be an excellent, drug-free way to provide support for the abdomen while relieving pain in the lower back and abdominal areas. As more and more people get on board, who knows what new benefits will be uncovered?
As an added bonus, as many of us have seen on TV, it can look pretty cool as well. A range of colours, patterns and designs are out there to explore, with countless benefits to your well-being and performance ready to be discovered.
How Can I Use It?
To properly use kinesiology tape, it's probably best to first explain exactly how it works. This revolutionary modern tape can help you out in the following ways:
- Have you ever stubbed your toe or hit your head, leading you to rub the affected area to get rid of the pain? When you do this you are demonstrating one of the key principles that this tape is based on. It creates interference on your skin, much as rubbing a wound does, which changes and diminishes how your body interprets pain signals. This allows you to keep doing what you're doing, without superficial pain getting in your way.
- Kinesiology tape also works to lift your skin ever-so-slightly, creating more space between microscopic epidermal layers. This lifting effect allows the by-products of inflammation to be removed more quickly, and also improves circulation to that area, increasing recovery getting you back on your feet sooner.
- A third benefit of these tapes is that they allow muscles to be grouped together, letting your healthy muscles pick up the slack from your recovering or tired ones. Research shows that this effect can delay muscle fatigue, protecting your at-risk areas from becoming over-exerted.
- The skin-like elastic properties of modern kinesiology tape allows for a full range of motion, but also helps to distribute stress among different areas. The pulling and pushing motions that the tape can enact dissipate stresses that would otherwise be the burden of a single muscle, ligament or bone, and allows different parts of your body to combat those forces together.
Now that you know what kinesiology tape does to your body and how it works, it's time to put it into action. These tapes are meant to be applied along your tendons, muscles and ligaments, providing a comfortable and convenient support to over-exerted or injured areas. Once the tape is applied correctly, it couples together different areas of the body to facilitate stronger firing of your muscles and tendons, improving performance and facilitating recovery. This allows you to experience support, pain relief and comfort, while avoiding the bulk and burden that traditional straps, rigid tapes and overbearing supports can bring with them.
Once It's All Said and Done...
After the wonders of kinesiology tape have been explored, we hope you have a better idea of what it is, why it's here, and how it can work for you. If you're looking to increase endurance and decrease pain and fatigue during sports, this tape has you covered. If you want to be able to go about your day and activities with peace of mind while allowing an injury to heal, it's great for that as well.
It should be noted, though, that kinesiology tape isn't an all-in-one miracle solution to all of your fitness and injury problems. It can no doubt speed up recovery, protect muscles and increase range of motion, but sometimes there's just no substitute for good old fashioned medical care. While we at Health and Care encourage you to experiment with kinesiology tape and it's many benefits, for more serious problems, we recommend it be used in conjunction with advice from a qualified physiotherapist or physician.
Finally, at this point, we can send you on your way, well informed and ready to tackle your latest challenge with a wealth of knowledge about what this tape can do for you. So get moving, push your limits, and protect yourself like a world-class athlete, with the extraordinary and versatile new craze in fitness and health that is kinesiology tape.