Kinesio taping is a physical therapy tool that has become extremely famous and increasingly popular in the athletic and sporting arena. The tape and various techniques of the application were developed by the Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase in the late 1970s with the aim of eliminating physical pain and enhancing healing in soft tissues. The practitioner concluded that using flexible tape harnessed the interface between the skin and the muscles could provide a long-lasting effect for his patients. The utilization of this technique to aid the athletes and sportspersons has been quite fruitful other than the profound effects observed on orthopedic patients.
Understanding the modality
To learn about the benefits of Kinesiology tape for athletes we first dive deep into the understanding of the technique itself. It is the use of a non-restrictive, elastic taping material to support as well as normalize muscle function. The tape is made of an elastic cotton strip and has an acrylic adhesive on one side. The glue on the tape is heat activated and present in a wavelike pattern that mimics the fingerprint patterns on the fingertips. There is a multitude of types of applications that provide different physiological outcomes. Here are a few advantages that an athlete can experience through the use of this modality.
#1 Enhances lymphatic and blood flow
The use of Kinesio tape helps improve the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid in the affected areas. This happens through the encouragement of recruiting the accessory muscles, which thereby facilitates efficient lymphatic drainage and blood flow. The tape also results in the reduction of swelling that has occurred due to any sports injury, via decreasing the pressure between the skin and the underlying tissue. This is what provides the pathway for the elimination of the excess fluid buildup affected areas.
#2 Effective pain management
Athletes and sportspersons often tend to overwork their muscles during their practice sessions or while performing on the field. Kinesio tape can be utilized to decrease the pain effectively as well as reduce the muscle spasms that occur frequently. The mechanism behind this advantage is that it interacts by inhibition of the pain signals or reduction in the nociceptive input to the brain which can aid successfully with muscle guarding and protective spasms. Kinesio taping when applied by a professional practitioner helps the athlete overcome muscle fatigue and soreness in an easier manner due to effective pain management solutions.
#3 Added support and stability
It is often perceived that using the Kinesio tape will offer a competitive advantage to the athletes but that notion is not to be assumed. The application of such tapes increases the flexibility of the user by aiding the improvement of the muscle firing as well as contraction patterns. This leads to added support to the body muscles and soft tissues and normalized muscular tone. These factors are known to result in the improvement of athletic performance. They allow the athlete to push their limits a little further and achieve their peak potential in a controlled manner.
Kinesio taping when adopted along with other effective physical therapy techniques can help in the holistic improvement of the athlete’s physical strength and flexibility. There is a positive outcome for the athletes if they are aware of their strength and use Kinesio taping in the troublesome areas and cause hindrance in their capabilities. Proper guidance while applying the Kinesio tape can avoid aggravating the soreness, inflammation, and pain in the muscles. Kinesio taping can serve as one of the finest solutions to alleviate fatigue in the body in the most effective manner.