Kinesio Tape- what's the hype all about?
KINETIC TAPE. What is it and how it works?
"Think of running as a series of collisions with the ground", says Stephen Messier, Ph.D., a runner and orthotics researcher at Wake Forest University.
You've probably seen coloured tape showing up on the legs of runners in the last few years. Blue, pink or black,it cannot be missed. Kinesio taping was developed by Kenzo Kase, chiropractor and acupuncturist, in the 1970. He wanted a tape that, according to Kinesio's promotional materials, would "facilitate the body's natural healing process while allowing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body's range of motion."
HOW DOES IT WORK?
The tape has a texture and elasticity similar to skin. When applied, it microscopically lifts the skin. This is thought to increase blood and lymph flow in the area, increasing circulation and reducing pain. The tape's stretch properties can be used to assist in relaxing overused muscles and stabilizing joints.
Keep in mind that taping alone may not heal your injuries, but it can help you keep running while you get the underlying problem under control.
For most runners, taping is used in combination with other treatments.
HOW TO APPLY:
- The area taped must be clean, dry and free of oils or lotion. Otherwise, the tape won't stick to your skin. If you're very hairy, you'll need to shave the area to be taped, or the tape won't stick.
- The muscle or area taped should be put into a position of stretch before taping.
- The ends are always laid down with no tension.
- Once the tape is applied, rub the tape with the palm of your hand to activate the adhesive.
- Wait 30 minutes after applying the tape to exercise, or it might come off.
- Don't go out in the cold immediately after applying tape, or it won't adhere.
- Don't shower or swim within an hour of taping. After an hour the tape can get wet and will stay on.
The tape can be left on for three to five days. For some people, however, it might not stay on this long, especially in areas that tend to be moist (like feet), or that receive constant rubbing from clothes.
IF YOU HAVE SENSITIVE SKIN, REMEMBER THAT THIS TAPE CAN IRRITATE YOUR SKIN, SO DO A SHORT TRIAL AND SEE HOW YOUR BODY REACTS.