What is Kinesiology Tape ?
Ocak 18, 2016
Ever wonder what that colorful tape on your favorite athlete’s shoulder, knee, or other painful spot is actually doing? Is it just for looks, or does that stuff actually work?
Kinesiology tape was created over 40 years ago to help with patients who were having issues with prolonged and chronic pain. The simple elastic pull from the tape created just enough surface counter-irritant (think getting punched in the arm and then rubbing it to make it feel better) to give those with aches and pains that “aaahhh” feeling. However, the body of research and use for the product many refer to as “magic stretchy tape” has grown significantly over the years as the product has gained notoriety in athletics and clinics across the US. Many wonder if the tape provides a simple placebo effect to get such great results, but others have found that this tape is the trick to staying active and performing at their best. So just how does kinesiology tape work?
It turns out that kinesiology tape is for more than just pain and sore muscles.
- Muscle Balance – Kinesiology tape can be used to facilitate weak muscles by providing a sensory stimulus to produce a motor result. Basically, this means that the stretch sensation that your nervous system feels when the tape is applied correctly will produce a subconscious muscular response that helps balance out weak muscles with the stronger ones. The tape can also be used to provide constant feedback for muscles that have been atrophied due to disuse after surgery or injury. The continuous feedback helps regenerate the communication between these muscles and the brain so that the nervous system comes back online and does it’s incredibly important job.
- Improved Circulation – Your body is incredible at maintaining balance. Receptors literally blanket your body and report situations back to the brain that need attention. When kinesiology tape is applied, the receptors in your skin sense an “issue” and activate the mechanisms to increase blood flow to the area. Though the actual increase in volume is imperceptible to us as we wear the tape comfortably, the increase in circulation helps promote healing and relieve pain due to the amazing attributes of our blood.
- Provide Support – Your body senses support in different ways. Kinesiology tape works in two primary ways to provide you with improved support. One, the tape utilizes a mechanism called proprioception. Proprioception is your body’s ability to determine it’s position in space. In order to do this, your nervous system must rely on many inputs from the environment, process those inputs, and deliver constant correction and action. Kinesiology tape helps provide intervention into this process to improve your body’s awareness and turn the brain on. Old athletic tape simply locks joints into a particular position and decreases the need for feedback. Kinesiology tape allows the body to move through it’s normal range of motion, but with a stimulus to increase awareness, and improves the entire feedback system.
- Relieve Pain – Certainly of importance to all of us, kinesiology tape helps relieve pain. The surface stimulus that the “stretchy” nature of the tape provides helps to lift the skin and therefore relieve pressure. From a technical standpoint it gets more complicated, but you are essentially moving things around and creating relief. Imagine having a sore shoulder. Now imagine someone putting their hands on your shoulder and gently lifting the tissue surrounding the shoulder. It feels good right? However, this is not the only way that kinesiology tape relieves pain. The fact that your body senses the tape using very fast receptors allows your body to feel the tape before the slow receptors for pain can activate. This is the classical “rubbing your shoulder after getting punched” concept. In tandem with the other benefits of kinesiology tape, the relief of pain is in fact real and can help you get back to moving appropriately. And moving appropriately is the fastest way to get back to performing optimally.
Kinesiology taping is one of the fastest growing ways to manage joint and muscle pain, improve performance, and get back in the game – no matter what your game may be. The team at Go Tape is incredibly experienced and ready to answer your questions about getting well and staying well. Are you ready to GO?