What is Kinesio Tape and how does it really work?

By Athlete's Care on July 28, 2016

Kinesio Tape is a therapeutic tool that may be used by your physiotherapist or chiropractor at our Toronto clinics. Whether you are a professional athlete at the top of your game or a dedicated amateur, you train hard, but injuries and pain can keep you from enjoying your sport and may even get in the way of making progress. Muscles, tendons and ligaments are prone to injury and soreness and Kinesio Tape was developed to help athletes heal and continue to train through recovery as well as prevent injury. It can be used in some cases instead of heavier and more restrictive bracing. You don’t have to be an athlete, though, to take advantage of its very useful properties. Here’s a look at Kinesio Tape and how it is used.

Toronto Chiropractor

What is Kinesio Tape?

Kinesio Taping was first developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase in Japan in the 1970s. As a chiropractor, acupuncturist and therapist, he developed what was to become Kinesio Tape (also called KT Tape,) with the desire to extend the effects of manual therapy. He wanted his clients to be able to use something to help them between visits. After its introduction in Japan, it eventually made its way west to Europe and North America in the mid-1990s.

Kinesio tape looks just like that – tape – that has been designed specifically to support muscles, ligaments and tendons and ease pain and soreness. Kinesio Tape is made of latex-free elastic material that stretches lengthwise but not in its width. That way it can provide flexible support that doesn’t restrict circulation or how you move. It is breathable and allows for moisture release, which is crucial for comfortable wear. It should not ever feel itchy or otherwise irritating.

The texture and flexibility of Kinesio Tape mimic the way living skin works, which is why it is so effective. By stabilizing and supporting the soft tissue, it works to help correction injuries and conditions involving joints. As such, it is used to help correct joint and other bodily alignments, which aids in recovery. It can even be used to correct posture.

Today, it is used by professional athletes to train and even play while they heal from injury and can be used by anyone to return to normal activity levels. It is lightweight and comfortable and designed to be worn 24 hours a day.

Chiropractor Toronto

What is Kinesio Tape used for?

Kinesio Tape has also been used for everything from chronic pain to headaches. The physiotherapists and chiropractors at our Toronto clinics use Kinesio Tape to treat a wide variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular and neurological injuries and conditions. It provides relief around the clock and will stay on even if you strain or sweat. It can be worn when you shower or even when you swim.

  • Lower back strain/pain (including subluxations, herniated disc);
  • Knee pain;
  • Shin splints;
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome;
  • Tennis elbow;
  • Shoulder pain;
  • Hamstring and groin injuries;
  • Rotator cuff injuries;
  • Whiplash;
  • Plantar fasciitis;
  • Edema or swelling caused by an accumulation of fluids.

Kinesio Taping is also used for injury prevention. It will help to prevent edema or swelling and can be used for prevention and maintenance after injury. Kinesio Tape works on the circulatory, lymphatic and neural systems as well as on the muscles and soft tissue.

Kinesio Tape can be used for ongoing therapy but it has also been used in the case of sudden injury or strain in the middle of competition. In stabilizing the area, it prevents further injury. Physiotherapists and chiropractors at our Toronto clinics often apply Kinesio Tape after a therapy session to extend the effects and increase its effectiveness. Kinesio Tape can help make the fascial tissue easier for a physiotherapist or chiropractor to manipulate.

When it comes to pain relief, Kinesio Tape can also help to drain the fluids that cause edema and bruising. Professional athletes often use Kinesio Taping to address and help prevent known issues such as rolling ankles or patellar tracking.

How is Kinesio Tape used?

Kinesio Tape is applied along the soft tissue areas, including muscles, ligaments or tendons. Your Toronto physiotherapist or chiropractor will use it in specific patterns designed to help particular areas of concern.

The technique is based on how the body heals itself. Application of the tape helps to reduce inflammation and lets overtired muscles relax while still allowing a full range of motion. Traditional sports taping tends to restrict bodily fluids and as such can only be worn for limited periods of time, while Kinesio Tape is able to prove 24 hour a day protection and support.

While it looks fairly simple in principle, in reality it requires precise knowledge of exactly where to apply the Tape for maximum benefit.

At Athletescare Toronto, our physiotherapists and chiropractors are dedicated to helping their clients train better, heal faster and get back to their normal routine. Call us or make an appointment today to ask about how Kinesio Tape might help your recovery.