What is kinesio tape?
Kinesio tape was first developed by a man called Dr. Kenso Kase, a Japanese Chiropractor, over 35 years ago (believe it or not!). So even though kinesio tape is a fairly new addition to the medical world, especially for sports injuries, its effectiveness has been documented and proven time and time again.
How does it work?
The concept behind kinesio tape is actually fairly straightforward.
The secret is in the tape’s adhesive. It is patterned in such a way that, once in place, gently lifts the epidermis (the top layers of skin), under which all the capillaries carrying nutrient-supplying blood and oxygen to the tissue are situated.
By opening up these tiny blood vessels, the tape enhances the flow of fresh blood and therefore the drainage of ‘old’ blood, which carries away substances that promote pain-causing inflammation.
Kinesio tape has these three main effects:
1) To promote a reduction in swelling and improve the flow of blood into the area, thus bringing more oxygen and nutrients to the site which are required for healing.
2) To reduce the mechanical compression of the muscles and connective tissue, allowing these structures to glide more easily and therefore improving the movement/flexibility of that area.
3) To reduce pain by relieving pressure on the nerve endings in the area that are sending your body pain signals and also by stimulating nerves that sense movement (mechanoreceptors). By stimulating these nerves we interrupt the pain signals that are being sent to the brain.
So is kinesio tape just for athletes?
No, not at all – kinesio tape has many applications. It is indeed great for many sports injuries, but it is also very useful for things like shoulder/neck pain, helping to encourage better posture, lower back pain, sprained ankles, tennis/golfers elbow and even support during pregnancy!
Anyone who has had a soft tissue injury, provided they are at the right stage of the healing process, will benefit from kinesio tape. People who lead more sedentary lives, and people who are extremely active, like sportspeople, benefit from having this tape incorporated into their treatment and overall management.
Kinesio taping at Not Just Backs
At Not Just Backs our osteopath Tom Kilner is qualified in the use of kinesio taping – so feel free to ask about it at your next appointment!
Or if you have any further questions about kinesio tape, please feel free to give us a call on 01722 512 521.