What is the weird looking colorful, tape in strange designs that I have seen on everyone from professional athletes to weekend warriors? This new therapeutic taping method is known as kinesiotape and comes in a variety of colors, brands and styles. The product is a type of thin, elastic cotton tape that can stretch up to 140% of its original length. As a result, if the tape is applied to a patient on a stretch greater than its normal length, it will "recoil" after being applied and therefore create a pulling force on the skin that it is being applied to. This elastic property allows much greater range of motion compared to traditional white athletic ta and can also be left on for long periods of time before reapplication.
Designed to mimic human skin, with roughly the same thickness and elastic properties, the tape can be stretched 30–40% in the longitudinal direction. It is a latex free material with acrylic adhesive, which is heat activated. The cotton fibers allow for evaporation and quicker drying leading to longer wear time, up to 4 days. How the tape is claimed to affect the body is dependent on its usage throughout the body and how it is applied: the direction of pull, the shape, and the location, all play a role in its function.
There are several theoretical benefits claimed for the tape. One is correcting the alignment of weak muscles as well as facilitating joint motion as a result of the tape's recoiling qualities. Additionally, the tape is claimed to lift the skin, increasing the space below it, and increasing blood flow and circulation of lymphatic fluids (swelling). This increase in the interstitial space is said to lead to less pressure on the body's pain receptors and to stimulate normal joint function. This method of taping also results in more nutrients and blood to the injured site which helps to flush out irritants the body produces during inflammation and speed recovery. In addition, the goal of the kinesiology tape is to train you NOT to need it, unlike a typical brace that can lead to the body becoming dependent on it for stability and support.
The combination of the adhesive with the slight nylon pull in the tape can create a “lifting” effect on the skin, which can have a variety of effects on the body, including:
· Decrease Pain
· Increase Circulation, Decrease Inflammation
· Improve Posture
· Improve Athletic Performance
· Improve Joint Stability
· Promote Healing
If you have suffered from a sports or joint injury and would like more information on kinesiotaping please call Northwest Wellness in Federal Way, WAat 253-927-0660