Kinesiology taping: what is it and how it might help

What is kinesiology taping?

Kinesiology or kinesio tape is the bright coloured tape that you would have seen on sports people. It is lightweight, thin (like skin) and has stretch enabling it to provide support, reduce pain and improve performance without impacting your range of movement. It is a therapeutic tool used by physios and other health practitioners to aid rehabilitation.

Is it any different to beige standard rigid tape?
Yes, very different. The technique to apply it is different and the situations where you would use these two different tapes can differ. Whilst ridged beige tape might be used to help immobilize a sprained ankle, kinesio tape has much more “give” and flexibility inherent in the structure, however there are times when either tapes could be used and it would depend on the treatment goals. One of the key times that kinesio tape may be indicated would be to apply it over a recently injured muscle to help combat fatigue when returning to sport.

How might kinesio tape help?
– Improves vascularisation – so it can help when applied over areas of bruising, lymphoedema or swelling.
– Can provide extra proprioception and support to joints.
– Can improve conscious awareness of an injury.
– Can be used to “unload” tendon injuries.
– Can reduce fatigue in a muscle and enhance performance.
– Can improve posture.
– Can alter timing of muscle activity.

While kinesiology taping is another treatment method for injury rehabilitation it is not a stand alone “fix” and would be used in conjunction with other manual therapy and exercises to ensure a full recovery.

If you want to know more about kinesio taping or feel like it may benefit your recovery from injury, discuss this with your physiotherapist.

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Written by Caitlin Collenette, Physiotherapist