You may noticed in the Olympic Games, or other sporting events, that many of the athletes wore a strange looking coloured tape over their muscles and joints. While you may have thought “What’s that?” you probably quickly lost interest in the tape and enjoyed watching the event. Well, that tape is actually pretty good stuff, with several different uses to not only help athletes, but the general public as well.
What does it do? Kinesiology taping is a method of taping that can be used not only to give support to muscles and joints of the body, but also to help delay fatigue and enhance performance.
How does it work? Kinesiotaping can be used in a variety of ways to achieve different benefits:
It can work on fluid dynamics within the body. Best seen on bruises and swellings, by applying the tape with minimal stretch, the tape decompresses the underlying tissues and allows fluid to move out of the area. Taping over a recent bruise shows this effect very well by leaving a discolouration to the skin where no tape has been, and a reduced discolouration under the taped area.
The tape is thought to help encourage more slide and glide between the layers of tissue under the application, helping to restore movement.
It's best known property is to reduce pain at the site of an injury or strain. By stimulating certain nerve endings the use of tape can help alter movement patterns to avoid painful movement and support the underlying tissues whilst they heal.
Scientific research is currently undecided for the benefits of tape, but some studies show positive effects from its use. We find lots of people benefit from being taped up and find it easy to recreate the benefits themselves at home with a little guidance of where to stick the tape!