f you’ve watched any sort of professional sporting event, you’ve probably seen strips of colorful tape along the players arms, legs, or backs. This tape is called kinesiology tape, and it’s not like regular tape. Kinesiology tape is a therapeutic tape that is applied to certain areas of the body to support joints, lessen pain, reduce swelling, and improve performance! This article outlines the different uses of kinesiology tape, what it can help with, and why our Omaha chiropractors and physical therapist utilize it in practice!
How does Kinesiology Tape work?
Kinesiology tape (or K-tape) is VERY stretchy as it’s designed to mimic skin elasticity. This allows your body to maintain its full range of motion while the tape is in use, as opposed to traditional athletic training tape, which limits an area’s range of motion. K-tape is applied with about 50% stretch, which slightly lifts the skin and creates a microscopic space between your skin and the tissues underneath it. K-tape also helps create space in the joints, which can prevent joint irritation. Studies have also shown that k-tape can improve circulation of blood and fluids, thereby helping decrease swelling.
K-tape also affects your body’s proprioception, or the awareness of where your body is in space. The tape provides constant sensory input to the brain from that area, which helps the body protect the area and limits pain. All tissues contain different sensory receptors for touch, pain, vibration, and temperature. The nerves that carry sensations for touch and vibration are much larger than those that carry pain and temperature. K-tape activates the nerves that carry touch and vibration. Since only a certain amount of nerve signals can enter the brain at a certain time, constantly activating the touch and vibration receptors limits the amount of pain signals that can reach the pain. As a result, k-tape can decrease the amount of pain you feel.
The great thing about kinesiology tape is it’s waterproof, so you can go about your normal day without worrying about reapplying the tape every day. K-tape usually stays on for 3-5 days and you can shower, swim, sweat, and go about your normal daily activities!
Why our Omaha Chiropractors and Physical Therapist use Kinesiology Tape
Our Omaha doctors will use K-tape for a variety of reasons and conditions, in conjunction with other therapies performed in office. K-tape is commonly applied to injured areas to decrease swelling and support healing. Our doctors generally apply K-tape to any sort of tendinitis or tendinosis issue, such as tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff or labral tears, etc.
Our doctors utilize K-tape in athletes as well! Studies show utilizing K-tape can enhance performance and protect against injury. It can also help re-educate muscles that have lost function or don’t work in a normal way.
Two other common uses for K-tape in our practice are to help improve posture and alleviate pregnancy pain. To improve posture, K-tape is applied to the neck and back to provide sensory input to the body, both conscious and unconscious, to support postural muscles and help improve posture. For pregnant women, K-tape can be applied to the back to help with back pain or sciatica, or to the lower abdomen to help support the uterus and ligaments and alleviate ligament, pubic, and back pain.
Interested in trying kinesiology tape to help you heal or perform better? Give us a call today at 402-408-6561 or schedule an appointment here!