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What Is Kinesiology Tape?

What Is Kinesiology Tape?

How does kinesiology tape work?

Kinesiology tape is known for its remarkable elasticity, thanks to Dr. Kenzo Kase, who formulated it using a unique blend of cotton and nylon. Engineered to replicate the skin's flexibility, the tape allows for unrestricted motion. Additionally, its medical-grade adhesive is water-resistant and robust, ensuring it stays in place for three to five days, even during activities like workouts and showers.

Mechanisms of Action:

Creates Space in Joints: When applied, the tape exhibits a slight recoil, gently lifting the skin. Studies, including one with 32 participants focusing on the knee joint, indicate an increase in joint space. This subtle expansion contributes to a reduction in the likelihood of joint irritation.

May Change Pain Pathways: Physical therapists speculate that kinesiology tape alters the signals sent by sensory nerves regarding pain and compression. By creating a lift that unloads underlying tissues, the tape influences proprioception—the brain's awareness of the body's position and actions. This change in signals can impact how the brain responds, particularly in cases involving trigger points. Elevating the skin over tense muscles with kinesiology tape can reduce pain and increase flexibility.

Improves Circulation: In cases of injury, kinesiology tape may enhance blood circulation and reduce swelling. Research from 2017 suggests that it can improve blood flow in the skin and facilitate the circulation of lymphatic fluids, crucial for regulating swelling and fluid buildup. While studies show mixed results, some individuals undergoing breast cancer treatment or total knee replacements experienced reduced fluid buildup when kinesiology tape was applied.

Bruise Healing: Anecdotal evidence suggests that changing the flow of lymphatic fluid with kinesiology tape could expedite the healing of bruises. Although limited studies confirm this effect, some individuals note differences in color between taped and untaped areas when removing tape from bruised body parts.

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