So we have all seen the coloured tape that Gareth Bale and co have been wearing this season, when playing or competing in their sport. Literally every sport and every event has a number of competitors wearing this latest trend within the sporting world. Although it has been around some time!
But what is? What is it used for? And what’s it made of?
What is Kinesiology Tape?
Well it’s not the ordinary tape you find in a first aid or on supermarket shelves. It is a very thin and highly elastic tape that is adhesive and is applied direct to the skin and at a specific area. In the past when athletes or players needed to protect an area from further injury or strain, a bandage or application would be applied to restrict movement. Therefore lessening the chance of further injury, compressing the area. However this had obvious side effects such as reduced performance intensity and effectiveness. Not only that but also decrease the bodies own natural healing process as it would restrict blood flow. For example if we injured our thigh or calf, the whole area would be taped and compressed.
What is it used for?
Kinesiology Tape (Or K Tape) on the other hand is able to target specific areas. It opens up the muscle and still allows full range of movement, as well as being able to offer support to the muscle or joint, helping to relieve pain. This has obvious benefits to a sports person and their team.
By supporting the muscle (effected area), if applied correctly the taping improves the muscles ability to contract, reducing pain and feelings of fatigue. Its also a good protective measure giving some resistance to over extension and contraction.
By the tape pulling the skin and fascia (over the muscle) slightly away from the muscle it allows blood flow and lymphatic fluid to access the muscle, thus basically cleaning and reducing the inflammation of the tissue. Aiding the healing process. Compared to the ‘old’ school method where the area was compressed and almost bound.
What is it made of?
K Tape is made from a very thin, porous, 100% cotton fabric. It is latex free and has a heat-activated adhesive. It comes in a variety of colours indicating strength.
Kinesiology Tape is a fantastic piece of kit to help support and aid recovery from minor strain or sprain injuries. It really can ensure that performance need not be effected in the short term and minor injuries can be managed effectively.
More serious sprains and strains however ensure you get the correct treatment plan. As the less effect application such as K Tape will be. As it is not a miracle worker. Any torn/tear in muscle or connective tissue will need medical attention.
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Thanks for reading,