Have you noticed the colorful tape applied in different patterns on many professional and collegiate athletes? Kinesiology taping is not just a way to show team colors – it has function. Used as an adjunctive treatment for various orthopedic injuries and disorders, kinesiology tape – which can stretch more than 100% of its original length – allows much greater range of motion than traditional white athletic tape. It can also be left on for longer periods of time (up to 4 days) before reapplication is needed. Kinesiology tape is designed to mimic the skin’s elastic properties and, properly applied, helps alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, enhance performance, and can facilitate rehabilitation, along with supporting muscles during athletic activities.
First, it’s best to consult with a certified professional trained in kinesiology taping to assess your needs and goals. Evaluation by an athletic trainer or physical therapist in necessary to help identify any underlying causes of injury, discomfort, muscle tension, or other issues that might need to be addressed with other treatment modalities, along with corrective exercises.
Before applying kinesiology tape, the certified professional ensures that the patient’s skin is clean and free of oils, sweat, and lotions. Otherwise, the tape will lose its adhesive abilities. Correct tension is also key to success with kinesiology taping. Once applied, the practitioner rubs the tape to activate the heat-sensitive glue.
Small amounts of body hair will not interfere with the effectiveness or adhesion of the tape. However, areas with significant amounts of hair should be shaved for best results and to decrease discomfort during tape removal.
During the first few days, if an edge of the tape has begun to lift, it can be trimmed. Rounding the edges before application can help prevent the edges from lifting prematurely. To dry tape after exercising, swimming, or showering, pat gently with a towel.
This isn’t recommended. It’s essential to apply the tape with the correct degree of tension. If too much tension is applied, the effects are diminished. It’s better to have too little tension than too much. This is why it is important to have a certified professional trained in kinesiology taping techniques apply your tape – and only after a qualified healthcare provider has evaluated your condition.
Think you might benefit from kinesiology taping? Call us at 714-633-7227 for a free consultation with our certified athletic trainer to determine if it’s right for you.