Have you ever felt a sharp, sudden pain at the back of your thigh? What about a dull, uncomfortable sensation? If you have, those must have been your hamstrings undergoing a reaction to some injury or unnatural movement. What did you do when you felt this pain, and how long did it last?
Take your time to think over these questions if you have ever felt hamstring pain before. Then, read on to learn more about managing it. If you haven't, this is the time to arm yourself with the knowledge that may prove useful later.
In this article, we bring to you a solution you might not have considered — kinesiology sports tape. If you don't know what it is, you are about to find out. You will learn about kinesiology tape, its functions, and its applications regarding hamstring pain particularly and other injuries generally.
Firstly, what is a kinesiology tape?
Kinesiology tape is a therapeutic tape commonly used in the sports industry. If you are familiar with any kind of sport, whether it's volleyball or bicycle riding, you may have seen it at one point or another. While it may seem like an elaborate display of colors, it is way more than that.
Kinesiology tapes are elastic tapes with adhesive on one side that aid movement, relieve pain, and anchor joints, among other functions. Let's get into the details.
After an injury or due to some medical or genetic conditions, your joints may fail, and your muscles can become weak. If you have ever experienced it, you will know it is not the best feeling.
For someone who is normally active, it can be restrictive. This is where the Kinesio tape comes into play. While it can not fix the root of the problem, K tape serves as a surface patch to handle the effects by supporting the affected joints and making the movement of the muscles easier. For instance, if you strain your hamstring, as we will discuss later in this article, you may need a support system to move around, and the kinesiology tape can be this support system. For full recovery, however, it is best to pair this therapeutic procedure with a form of treatment that tackles the true cause of the pain.
It is understandable if this shocks you, but read on to get a quick grasp of the concept. Kinesiology tape helps to relieve musculoskeletal pain. This is part of why many athletes employ tape during their activities.
But how does a simple tape do this?
Kinesiology tape is built to fit perfectly onto the skin, like an extra layer. This layer, however, causes your actual skin to lift slightly when it is applied. The lift creates an infinitesimal space between your skin and the structures beneath it. First, this reduces friction, which naturally contributes to the pain. It also changes the signals sent to the brain, canceling out some of the pain.
Through the same process described above, Kinesio tape helps to reduce inflammation. Creating subcutaneous space at the affected area ensures that any bodily fluid that may have accumulated has a free path to flow through to its destination. As you know, inflammation and swelling are caused by the accumulation of bodily fluid in the wrong places.
So, generally, Kinesio tape improves blood flow and circulation. This is not recommended for people who have had their lymph nodes removed, in which case it can have a negative effect and cause lymphedema.
Improves Posture and Re-trains Muscles
These two functions go hand in hand because sometimes your unwanted posture results from how you orient your muscles. You may have heard somewhere that the muscles tend to accustom themselves to how we use them; this is how the term muscle memory was probably coined.
Many of us subconsciously come to have bad posture by standing in whichever way we find most comfortable at that moment, and then our bodies get used to it. Kinesiology tape helps your muscles re-accustom themselves to a much healthier version, which is not necessarily the most convenient.
How does it do this? By being a constant physical reminder, the feel of an extra layer of skin may jolt you into consciousness and remind you to keep your chin up and square your shoulders.
Hamstring injuries are some of the most common sports injuries. Here's what you should know about them.
The hamstrings are a set of three powerful muscles at the back of the thigh; they pass from the buttocks to the calves. These muscles help to flex the knee and extend the thigh. When you hyperextend your thigh without the required flexibility, it can strain these muscles, and sometimes, they even tear. A sudden change in the direction of movement or an increase in speed are other causes.
You should know that hamstring strains are not usually caused by contact accidents but usually by unnatural movements. You also get more susceptible as you age.
How will you know when you have strained your hamstrings?
Depending on the degree of the sprain, you will feel varying amounts of pain:
To combat hamstring pain with kinesiology tape, these are the steps to follow:
Now that you know how Kinesio tape can be used to reduce hamstring pain, here are some other conditions and injuries you can use the tape for:
A lot of injuries can occur at the ankle, and they seem to have no restraint. Ask any athlete, and they will tell you how common ankle injuries are in the industry. From sprains to strains to fractures, the ankle is an easy target.
Ankle pain can be caused by acute injuries, overuse, sudden change in direction during movement, diseases, and even wearing the wrong footwear.
Depending on what kind of pain it is, you may experience varying degrees of pain, restricted movement, bruising, or swelling. These are all conditions previously mentioned that can be properly managed by Kinesiology tape.
To be more specific, we will be talking about chronic knee pain. This is long-term pain, sometimes dull, other times sharp and intense, occurring at the knee joint, and it may be constant for years.
Chronic knee pain can result from blunt trauma to the knee or a disease. It should not be confused with the pain that comes with falling and bruising your knee; that is temporary.
Some of the conditions that can cause chronic knee pain are bursitis (inflammation from repeated use), osteoarthritis (degenerative disease of the joints), and gout (arthritis caused by the accumulation of uric acid). This condition may get worse with time due to infection, bad posture, poor exercise, overuse, and other injuries.
Physical therapy is one of the major ways of managing knee pain, and kinesiology tape falls under the category. So, if you or someone you know suffers from knee pain, don't hesitate to check in with your doctor to see if you can use kinesiology tape. Checking in with your doctor is advised because some conditions can prevent you from using the tape, e.g., diabetes.
You now know just how important kinesiology tape is for you, especially regarding hamstring pain. Where can you get yourself the best deal?
We got you covered if you are trying to figure out where to get the best kinesiology tape. We produce high-quality, flexible, hypoallergenic kinesiology tape with a no-sticky residue policy. It is the perfect package, and it is affordable. Visit our shop section to get yours.