Kinesio tape is a thin, stretchy, waterproof cotton tape that is about as thick and stretchy as human skin. It is a great non-bulky, non-restrictive alternative to a big brace for treating a variety of injuries. It also has a grid-like pattern which makes it breathable.
The tape was invented by a Japanese chiropractor in the 1970. Dr. Kenso Kase, wanted to give his patients a way to continue to see improvement between appointments. He claims that taping “can be applied in hundreds of ways and has the ability to re-educate the neuromuscular system, reduce pain and inflammation, enhance performance, prevent injury and promote good circulation and healing.”
A trained therapist will take a look at the injury, and make a taping plan. The tape can be applied with different tensions to generate the appropriate amount of support to stabilize the affected area.
Since the tape is made of stretchy cotton, it is very strong. This provides support but still allows for movement. The certified therapist will put the tape on the affected area, and then rub it to activate the adhesive. The tape gently lifts the skin and allows increased blood flow between the skin and the affected muscle area below.
Dr. Kase identifies four major goals of the tape:
In a rehabilitation setting, taping after a manual manipulation session helps to stabilize the area. This allows for the muscles and ligaments nearby to heal while taking pressure off the areas that were manipulated during your rehabilitation session.
Because the tape is non-medicinal and non-invasive it can be used for children and adults. The tape is made from latex-free elastic fibers and cotton so it should be hypoallergenic.
While you can find instructional videos for applying the tape, it is best to have a trained chiropractor do it for you. This ensures that you are getting the right amount of tension or stability for your injury.