It seems that there has been an explosion of coloured kinesiology tapes appearing at sports events all over the world. Developed in the 1970’s by Japanese chiropractor, Dr Kenzo Kase, kinesiology tape claims to be a system that through encouraging lymphatic drainage, naturally assists in the healing of damaged tissue, and provides support to both joints and muscles. It is also believed to help normalise muscular functions and reduced pain through neurological suppression.
Many conventional athletic tapes are generally applied to an injury and can restrict or even prevent movement. Most injuries however do not require full immobilisation and kinesiology tape, which can stretch longitudinally up to 120-180% of its original size, provide support whilst allowing athletes to continue to train or compete. And unlike conventional tapes that need to be removed and replaced after each session, the kinesiology tape can be worn 24/7 for several days, providing support and safe range of movement to muscles and joints.
It is applied along muscles, ligaments and tendons and can works differently for different injuries. Depending on its application it can support, enable or restrict soft tissues and their movements. This helps to reduce inflammation and increases circulation, preventing muscle cramps and the build-up of lactic acids.
Before applying tape it is important to get a physical therapy assessment so that the information gained can be used to best decide if it is the best or recommended treatment. There some precautions and contraindications to such a treatment, such as allergic reactions to tape, deep vein thrombosis and infected skin to name a few. However, once applied correctly, kinesiology tapes do provide another treatment option when rehabilitating sports related injuries and even to patients with ongoing back and neck pain.