Kinesio Tape is a type of tape that is rapidly gaining popularity. This is due to the fact that rather than working against muscles and joints to restrict movement, Kinesio Tape works with them to offer support and repositioning. As a result, this provides stability without compromising range of motion or circulation. Moreover, because Kinesio Tape is made from a breathable and water-resistant material with elastic qualities, it has a skin-like feeling. This not only allows more comfort for the wearer, but also confers some benefits at the neurological level.
When there is an injury, the brain’s main concern becomes the pain and cannot fully process sensory feedback from the skin. This results in uncoordinated movement. However, due to its design Kinesio Tape provides a distraction from this pain, similar to when rubbing a sore area.
The tape is also able to deceive the brain, making it believe the injured joint has achieved motion without pain. When a joint moves, the skin is stretched; this allows the brain to stay aware of what is moving and to what degree. By taking advantage of the Kinesio Tape’s elasticity, the brain can be tricked into thinking the skin (and therefore the joint) is moving even though it is static. As a result, the brain ‘tricked’ into thinking the joint can function without pain. This allows the brain to stop sending ‘help’ signals, thereby relaxing other muscles that may have been overly tense and/or compensating for the problem.
An added benefit of the construction of Kinesio Tape is it lacks compressing, constrictive qualities. When a joint is swollen, there is accumulation of lymphatic fluid in the space between the muscle and the skin, resulting in compressive restriction. This in turn applies pressure on receptors, which becomes discomforting and painful. Regular white athletic tape is constrictive and adds to the compression, and does not allow for the flow of the lymphatic fluid. Therefore, the swelling has is entrapped, which is unhelpful to recovery. Kinesio Tape, however, does not add pressure because of its elasticity. Therefore, it allows movement so that lymphatic fluid may flow out of the area and swelling can be relieved, all while maintaining support.