Despite being a panacea for many health concerns and an avenue to build body fitness, some people steer clear of exercises and sports because of pain. This is usually because the rigors and the rare minor injuries that often ensue from these activities are a turn-off for them or because they suffer from some conditions that predispose them to pain in the first place.
You can read on to discover how taping mitigates these concerns and other salient points you will find helpful in your fitness journey.
As the name implies, it involves applying athletic or kinesiology tape on different body parts to offer protective and supportive functions. These tapes are typically applied close to areas of the body near important joints like the knees, ankles, and fingers.
Standard tapes are made from reinforced cotton or cotton blends and are specially designed to offer premium comfort while possessing remarkable adhesiveness and durability. Athletic tapes are relatively inelastic compared to Kinesiology sport tapes, which are also typically more fancifully colored, offer less sturdy support, and are more hinged toward flexibility of movements.
Taping exerts its pain-mitigating effects on both injured and uninjured body parts. It can help you manage and pull through a relatively severe and painful injury or prevent mild to debilitating injuries from happening. In other words, taping offers preventive and corrective effects.
When you exercise regularly, you routinely push your body past its limits. Therefore, it is not surprising when pain and aches ensue from these exercises, especially on the body parts involved.
For example, a person who is into weightlifting will inevitably suffer from trauma, calluses, and the blistering of their fingers –especially their thumbs,if they do not routinely practice hand care. This is because these injuries could be typically uneventful at first, but with negligence, they may hamper your productivity and could cause significant injuries in the long run.
How, then, does taping come into the picture? Tapes form a second skin on the surface which they cover. They then take the brunt of the trauma in place of your skin during exercises. That way, the chances of sustaining minor bruises that may be troublesome later on plummet.
The best of the lot, like our tapes at Hampton Adams, have remarkable durability. In addition, they are lightweight, comfortable, and hypoallergenic. This implies that they can settle nicely on your skin without fear of allergic reaction and with premium comfort.
Moreover, because these tapes can hold their own against moisture, they proffer another substantial pain-mitigating effect. They can help prevent accidents that sweat can cause, particularly in activities like weightlifting or sports like Brazilian jiu-jitsu, where a slip of fingers could cause injuries.
Also, they help to stabilize application sites by providing just the right amount of friction. Thus, preventing excessive movements that predispose athletes and exercise enthusiasts to injury complications.
These tapes are not just limited to protection and support. In some cases, they can aid you in your exercises by improving your grip, thus assisting you in activities like lifting and other physically demanding sports like martial arts.
When injuries eventually happen, how do these tapes come into the picture to alleviate and manage them?
First, the grip and the pressure they apply on injured sites reduce the pain from injuries by increasing blood flow in the injured area. They gently pull your skin away from your muscles, allowing blood and other fluids to circulate more easily. The increased blood flow flushes irritants and pro-inflammatory products from injured sites and helps these tapes reduce swelling from injuries.
All these culminate in faster recovery and the alleviation of your pain.
If you suffer from an ankle sprain or any injury, sudden, dramatic ankle movements are the last thing you want.They are usually very painful. You could use tapes to hold your injured body part in the best posture for recovery and thus prevent any unnecessary movements that could complicate your injuries or make them hurt even more.
A professional could help you ingeniously weave athletic tape around your ankle to stabilize it in the best position that spurs your natural healing processes into action, making your injuries heal faster. What's more? These tapes can keep you up and running till you fully recover or until you seek further treatment if the injuries require them.
Due to their relative inelasticity and more sturdy makeup, you should note that athletic tapes usually do this better than Kinesio tapes. Kinesio tape sacrifices a bit of structural support for the flexibility of movements at application sites. Nonetheless, this tape is still quite effective in its own right.
These tapes can also manage chronic conditions like tendinosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, arthritis, and migraine. If these conditions have been holding you back from engaging in sports or exercises due to pain, tapes could markedly make you feel better, keep you in the state to exercise, and put your body past its limits!
For example, when applied on your back and neck, Kinesio tape could reduce migraine episodes and their severity by stabilizing your neck muscles, likethe levator scapulae, scalenes, and occipital muscles,and improving your postural alignment.
The mechanical pressure these tapes apply on your skin sends signals to your brain to "wake" weakened, sleeping muscles and tone down the overactive ones, creating a balance of activity in the neck musculature and plummeting the chances of suffering from a trigger.
On the other hand, a mix of proper taping, icing, and anti-inflammatory medication could get you right up and running again for a condition like tendinosis. However, you might need to rest often so you do not overwork your tendon(s).
It is also noteworthy that some studies have shown that kinesiology tapes improve the range of motion of people with arthritis. These tapes work for arthritis by improving circulation, gently pulling up the skin to create "space" underneath, and helping your brain remember how to use your muscles correctly.
Make sure you wear these tapes correctly to enjoy their pain-relieving benefits. Why? If you apply too much pressure, they could cut off circulation and cause even more pain for you. They might also abnormally activate your mechanical sensors and send the wrong messages to your brain.
Your brain then acts on these false messages and sets body processes into motion that could exacerbate your condition. If you wear them too loosely, on the other hand, it goes without saying that they will not work at all.
Also, if the site you intend to apply these tapes on has been infected, it is not a good idea to go ahead. Why? Tape could open circulation further and cause the infectious agents to circulate the blood even more, potentially worsening your condition.
If you wear these tapes fortoo long, it could increase your chances of skin irritation. These tapes should be worn for about 3-5 days, although some may last longer. In the same vein, if you know that you are particularly hypersensitive to these tapes and adhesives, you should steer clear of them.
While there is a possibility that you would only suffer from a mild skin rash or runny nose, you cannot rule out the possibility of a dramatic, life-threatening asthmatic episode or even an anaphylactic reaction if the conditions are right.
Ideally, you should have an experienced person to apply these tapes for you, but if you want to wear them yourself, you could put in the effort and learn how to use various body parts that may be within your reach. Application methods depend on the body part and the tape types, but the processes are relatively simple once you get the hang of them.
Are you an enthusiast seeking to revamp your exercise culture or a sportsman seeking to stay in the thick of sports for much longer? At Hampton Adams, our Kinesio tapes and Athletic Tape products possess all the intrinsic qualities worthy of the ideal tape, from durability to hypoallergenic properties and comfort. What is more? They are available at economical prices.