A Complete Guide to Kinesio Tape, and Why You Need it Now

Throughout the summer Olympics you may have noticed that many of the athletes were sporting what looked like bandages or athletic tape, even though they weren’t necessarily nursing an injury. These “bandages” weren’t bandages at all, but a therapeutic tape designed to mimic the skin’s elasticity while providing added support. At OPTI, our therapists know what Olympic atheletes and trainers do: kinesio tape is an amazing tool to help the body function, perform, and recover well.

Kinesio Tape is something we use for our patients at OPTI both for injury prevention and recovery. Our therapists have the knowledge, training, and expertise to use adjunctive tools like kinesio tape on patients for maximum success and effectiveness. There is a multitude of ways to use kinesio tape, and many benefits, but first it helps to understand what exactly kinesio tape is:

What is Kinesio Tape?

“Kinesio” is short for kinesiology, which means the study of the way the body moves. Kinesio tape was invented in the 1970’s by a chiropractor in Japan named Dr. Kenzo Kase[1]. He noticed that athletic tape could provide support to certain areas on the body that needed it, but greatly restricted movement and normal use of that body part or function. Hence, the invention of Kinesio Tape: a super stretchy, strong, water resistant, medical grade tape designed to strategically support any area on the body that needs it.

Kinesio Tape Uses:

There are many uses and benefits of kinesio tape. The main way that kinesio tape works, to break down the broad claim of “added support”, is to gently lift the skin away from the tissue underneath it. This can create added space in joints, which allows for more free movement and less pain and inflammation. Kinesio tape can increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage, aid in releasing muscle tension, and reduce pain. These benefits make using kinesio tape on our patients a no brainer, and we often use it in these ways:

Injury Recovery:

The added support, as well as increased lymphatic drainage and blood flow make kinesio tape a great addition to an injury recovery treatment plan. Our therapists use kinesio tape on joints, muscles, or trigger points to facilitate healing and lessen pain. There is even some evidence to suggest that kinesio tape can reduce the appearance of scars, although should never be used over an open or healing wound. We have the training to safely and effectively apply kinesio tape, and an added benefit: it lasts for several days after application!

Athletic Performance:

All of the benefits listed above make kinesio tape an amazing option for athletes trying to enhance their performance and help their body maintain optimal function through difficult or repetitive tasks.

Pain Management and Support:

Increased blood flow, decreased pain, and support of weak areas mean kinesio tape is not limited to injury recovery or athletic performance. The benefits and uses are endless. The strong yet flexible design of the tape can help stabilize joints, or retrain areas where the muscles are weak or not working the way they should.

Why You Need It Now:

Kinesio tape is a risk free, non-invasive way to greatly improve mechanical function of the body. Our team at OPTI can help many musculoskeletal issues with correct application and use of kinesio tape, which is why it is such a valuable tool our physical and occupational therapists utilize in the clinic. Whether you are recovering from surgery, nursing and active injury, or working hard to get back on the field, our therapists can utilize this amazing tool in your treatment plan to help you achieve your health goals. Call OPTI today at (208)966-4476 to schedule an appointment!

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[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/kinesiology-tape#benefits

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