What is Kinesio Tape?
Kinesio tape is a special type of tape which mimics the qualities of the skin. The tape is the same thickness as the top layer of skin and has the same elastic qualities. This allows it to stretch up to 60% of its original length (if you don’t believe the skin can stretch this much just look at your grandmother). This differentiates it from regular rigid tape and allows it to have multiple functions based on the application technique.
Who Uses Kinesio Tape?
Kinesio tape is used by most allied health professionals including Chiropractors, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists. A practitioner may use other, similar products such as Rocktape and K tape which serve the same basic functions.
So what are its functions?
· Holding – In this technique the tape is used to position and gather the fascia (connective tissue) in order to hold it in its desired position.
· Lymphatic Channeling – When inflammation occurs the injured site will often become swollen. This technique is used to lift the skin when swelling occurs, allowing the fluid to drain.
· Pressure – This technique is used to apply pressure to tendons and ligaments which stimulates receptors. Doing this is believed to promote normal tissue healing.
· Functional Correction – When required, a practitioner may want to restrict or support a movement. Using this technique allows for non-rigid support of motion.
When Should I use Kinesio tape?
Kinesio tape should be used when its use will improve patient function. Taping is usually a safe and effective technique. It is important to ensure that you do not have an allergy to the tape prior to its application.
How do I apply it?
Kinesio tape is best applied by a trained health care practitioner. This ensures that it is accurately placed in a manner which is sufficient for its required function.