Information overload is a real thing. Very few subjects can be researched that give one straight answer, and it is a guarantee that as time passes, more information will eventually be learned to add. This information overload can also affect simple subjects like how to use kinesiology tape and how it should be used responsibly and for the best results.
In short, the kinesiology tape was designed for use to help with recovery in the sports field during the 1970s. While its use has gone beyond its intended scope of simple support and stabilization after injury, that does not mean it has lost its original purpose, nor is it better at doing something else entirely. No, the notoriously sticky tape is still at the forefront of injury recovery therapy.
Kinesiology tape, or kinesio tape, is a thin, stretchy tape applied to the skin to support muscles and joints, improve circulation, and reduce pain and inflammation. While kinesiology sports tape is generally considered safe and effective, certain precautions and contraindications should be considered before using it.
For clarity, how kinesiology tape works, how it should be applied, and what precautions the users should be aware of before applying the tape, this article will focus on clearing up any misconceptions and contraindications in the use of the tape.
A person who is considering using K-tape should always be aware of allergies, medical conditions, and similar when applying the kinesiology tape. Since many brands of tape can contain medication to help with inflammation or pain management, it is essential to read the label to avoid accidents.
Skin irritation: Kinesiotape should not be applied to areas of the skin that are irritated, infected, or have open wounds. It is also essential to avoid using kinesiology tape on skin areas with a history of allergic reactions or sensitivity to adhesives.
Allergic reactions: Kinesiotape contains latex, which can cause allergic reactions in some individuals. If you have a known latex allergy, avoiding using kinesio tape or a latex-free version is essential.
Pressure points: Kinesiotape should not be applied directly over bony prominences or pressure points, which can cause discomfort and irritation.
Overstretching: Overstretching the kinesio tape can cause it to lose its elasticity and effectiveness. It is essential to apply the tape with the appropriate tension and to avoid stretching it beyond its natural limits.
Movement restrictions: Kinesiotape should not be applied to restrict movement or impair circulation. Remove the tape immediately if you experience any numbness, tingling, or loss of sensation.
Kinesiology tape primarily works by pulling on the skin and helping create room so blood can flow easily toward an injury. The space created by the tape helps alleviate swelling and can help heal bruising, so it should be great for other conditions. Unfortunately, no, it's a contradiction, and improper use can cause a situation to worsen. Always consult a doctor before using K-tape for any condition other than its intended use.
Deep vein thrombosis: Kinesiotape should not be applied to areas with deep vein thrombosis (DVT), as it can increase the risk of blood clots and other complications.
Cancer: Kinesiotape should not be used on individuals with cancer, as it can interfere with radiation therapy and other cancer treatments.
Open wounds: Kinesiotape should not be applied to open wounds, as it can delay healing and increase the risk of infection.
Fractures: Kinesiotape should not be used to immobilize fractures or other serious injuries, as it does not provide enough support or stability.
Pregnancy: Kinesiotape should not be applied to the abdomen or lower back during pregnancy, as it can interfere with blood flow and cause discomfort.
Allergy to tape adhesive: Kinesiotape should not be applied to individuals allergic to tape adhesive.
Impaired sensation: Kinesiotape should not be applied to areas with impaired sensation, as it can interfere with the ability to detect pain or other sensations.
Active skin infections: Kinesiotape should not be applied over active skin infections as it can spread the infection.
Lymphoedema: Kinesiotape should not be applied to areas with lymphoedema as it can worsen the condition.
Diabetes: Kinesiotape should not be applied to areas with poor circulation or peripheral neuropathy, which is common in individuals with diabetes, as it can interfere with blood flow and exacerbate nerve damage.
Kinesio tape, known as kinesiology tape, was invented by Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase in the 1970s. Dr. Kase sought a way to provide his patients with a more effective and longer-lasting form of therapy than traditional taping methods. He believed that by using a specialized tape that could mimic the natural properties of human skin, he could help to support and facilitate the body's natural healing processes.
Dr. Kase spent several years researching and developing the tape, experimenting with different materials, adhesives, and application techniques. He eventually settled on a thin, stretchy cotton tape that could be applied to the skin in various patterns and tensions.
The critical innovation of K-tape can provide support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting movement or circulation. Unlike traditional athletic tape, designed to immobilize and protect injured areas, Kinesiology tape enhances performance and promotes healing by improving muscle function and reducing pain and inflammation.
Kinesio tape lifts the skin and underlying tissues, creating a space between the skin and the muscles. This helps to increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage, which can help to reduce swelling, inflammation, and pain. The tape also provides sensory feedback to the nervous system, which can help to improve proprioception (awareness of body position and movement) and facilitate proper muscle activation and coordination.
Since its invention in the 1970s, K-tape has gained popularity worldwide, particularly among athletes, physical therapists, and other healthcare professionals. It has been used to treat various conditions, including sports injuries, chronic pain, post-surgical recovery, and neurological disorders.
The colorful tape saw itself being on display on the world stage during the London Olympics, where famous athletes sported the colorful stands of tape across their bodies. Their performance would inspire its use in gyms across the world. As the use of tape spread, the need for information on how to properly use the tape would spawn a plethora of youtube channels, all willing to explain how to place the tape better.
Today, many different brands and variations of K-tape are available on the market, each with unique properties and applications. Despite its widespread use, however, the scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of K-tape remains mixed. While some studies have shown positive effects on pain, range of motion, and muscle function, others have found no significant differences between K-tape and other therapy or placebo treatments.
Despite this uncertainty, many people find Kinesio tape a valuable and effective tool for managing pain and promoting healing. As with any form of therapy, it is essential to work with a qualified healthcare professional to determine if Kinesio tape is appropriate for your individual needs and circumstances and to ensure proper application and monitoring.
Applying Kinesio tape can be tricky at first, but with some practice and guidance, it can become a valuable and effective tool for managing pain and promoting healing.
Prepare the skin: Before applying Kinesio tape, make sure the skin is clean, dry, and free of oils, lotions, or other substances that could affect the adhesion of the tape. Shave any areas with excessive hair growth to ensure proper contact with the skin.
Measure and cut the tape: Measure the desired length, using enough to cover the affected area with some overlap on either end. Cut the tape to the appropriate length, then round off the corners to prevent peeling or snagging.
Apply the tape: Position the affected area comfortably in a neutral position. Starting at one end of the tape, gently stretch it to the desired tension (usually 10-20% stretch) and apply it to the skin with no tension. Smooth the tape down, working out any wrinkles or bubbles. Add additional tape strips in a parallel or criss-cross pattern, overlapping each strip by 50% to ensure complete coverage.
Activate the adhesive: Rub the tape briskly to activate and improve its bond with the skin. This helps to ensure that the tape stays in place for several days, even during exercise or other physical activity.
Remove the tape: To remove the tape, gently lift one corner and peel it back slowly and evenly, being careful not to pull too hard or too quickly. If the tape is difficult to remove, you can use oil or adhesive remover to help loosen it.
If oil is needed, the user should soak the tape in baby oil until the adhesive has loosened its grip on the skin. Once it slides off the skin, the tape can be easily peeled off.
Always read the labels; if there are any ideas of how tape could be used, users should always consult doctors for advice if there is any doubt about how to use kinesiology tape properly.