Kinesiology tape (also called K Tape) is designed to promote healing from repetitive stress injuries. This includes injuries from sporting, work or recreational activities. It works by gently lifting the skin over the injured area as the patient performs his or her regular daily movements.
K Tape was originally invented by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase in the 1970s. Since then, however, its use has spread widely in the field of sports medicine.
By facilitating the flow of blood and/or lymphatic fluids through the area, k tape accelerates healing and reduces the pain of the injury. You can find more information on this type of taping therapy in our blog post on how k taping works.
As you browse the selection of k tape products below, you will notice that it includes two types of tape.
First, there are regular tape rolls. In general, you can use the regular k tape rolls on any area of the body on which you have experienced an injury. However, they will require somewhat more skill and knowledge for successful application.
Second, there are pre cut tape segments designed for specific areas of the body. You can use pre cuts only on specific body parts. However, you will find them easier to apply than the standard rolls.
How K Tape Works
K Tape is designed to have very high elasticity and to mimic the stretchiness of human skin. It can stretch to almost 200% of its original length. This helps it to support a full range of joint motion.
Contrary to traditional athletic tape, k tape is designed to allow the patient to continue using his or her limbs and joints in a natural way. It then uses these natural movements to slightly lift the patient’s skin and create a tiny space between the skin and the tissues beneath it.
By contrast, traditional athletic tape is used to stabilize the joint and restrict its range of motion. The idea is to reduce the stress on the joint in order to allow it to rest and recover naturally.
K Tape uses a medical grade adhesive that is heat activated and can help the tape stay in position for as long as 4-5 days.
Benefits Of K Tape
Improved Blood & Lymphatic Fluid Circulation
If k tape is applied correctly, it can help to improve blood circulation through the site of an injury. It can also help to reduce circulation in the area.
In addition to improving blood flow, k tape can assist with lymphatic fluid circulation. Lymphatic fluid, also called lymph, contains damaged cells, bacteria and other elements that could inhibit healing of an injury. It also helps to transport white blood cells that fight infections. Hence, by improving lymphatic drainage, k tape supports faster injury recovery and helps to reduce swelling.
K tape may help to reduce perceived pain. It does so by altering the information transmitted by the body’s central nervous system in response to pain felt in different parts of the body.
Uses Of K Tape
K tape can play many roles in athletic and physical therapy, including the following:
Treating soft tissue injuries of athletes and others, including mitigating pain and swelling;
Providing additional support to weak or unstable joints or muscles. This can be viewed as a proactive approach to managing injuries (by preventing them);
Rehabilitating or re-educating muscles that have not been used in a long time;
Enhancing athletic performance through improved proprioception.
Application Of K Tape
When applying k tape, be careful to ensure that the area to which you intend to apply it is clean and dry. You should also avoid using any lotions, creams or oils on the area before application. Additionally, if body hair is present on the area, it is best to shave it before application.