How to Use Kinesiology Tape: 3 Steps Explained by Physiotherapists

How To Use Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology taping is the use of a flexible, thin therapeutic tape based on cotton that can aid a broad range of accidents and inflammatory problems. It is practically similar in thickness and elasticity to human skin, which enables it to be used without binding, limiting or restricting movement.

You may have noticed that a lot of professional athletes utilize kinesiology taping to enhance their performance in sports. Physiotherapists utilize kinesiology taping each day in the medical center to support the muscle fibers and their engagement in the body. This not only allows pain-free movement but also allows the physiotherapist to evaluate which joints or muscles need additional supervision.

What Is Kinesiology Tape Used For

Kinesiology tape has a broad range of therapeutic benefits. Since it can be held on for many days, the wounded area has such medicinal benefits effective 24 hours a day. Kinesiology taping methods are believed to alleviate pain by various mechanisms. They could either be classified as neurological or physical mechanisms.

Physically, the kinesiology tape's raising action will help alleviate tension on pain receptors immediately below the skin. It will generate pain relief for both short and long periods. Chronic pain can be treated by tactile stimulation of certain nerve fibers.

The kinesiology tape is believed to create negative pressure underneath the tape by raising this skin. A vacuum will cause swelling and other inflammation cells to drain away from the affected area.

How To Apply Kinesiology Tape

There's a lot of methods of applying kinesiology tape. You should first consider asking a physical therapist who is skilled in applying kinesiology tape correctly before you attempt to put it on your own. A physiotherapist will teach you how to use kinesiology tape in the right pattern to assist with your particular problem.

You should also ask a physiotherapist for guidance on which methods are the most successful and which Kinesio tape is suitable for you. A tape can be placed in a layout of X, I, Y, or fan design, based on your specific goals. You might also need strips for decompression and stabilization. Your physiotherapist should watch how you apply and remove the tape before doing it at home.

1. Your Skin Preparation

The skin should be dry and clean of lotions or liniments. Clean with water and soap or rub with alcohol and make sure the skin is dry before application. Remove unnecessary hair using   a hair remover device as it may prevent the tape from gripping your skin well.

2. Preparing Your Kinesiology Tape

You will start by removing the background paper in the middle for most applications. Cut rounded edges at the corners of each strip if they do not have them already. The rounded edges are less likely to be snuggled by fabric and will help hold the tape longer.

When applying the first tab to attach the strip, allow the edge to recoil slightly after the removal of the background paper. You don't need an extension at either edge in the last couple of inches since those tabs are only to keep the tape in position. When you extend the edges, the tape will draw your skin, which can cause discomfort or loosen the tape earlier.

When cutting a strip of kinesiology tape around each edge to avoid premature scratching of the edges. Avoid contacting the adhesive end of the tape during the removal of the background paper.

3. Wearing Kinesiology Tape

Rub the strip forcefully for a few seconds after applying the tape because pressure activates the adhesive on the tape. It normally takes about 25 minutes for full adhesion. Give it at least one hour before going in the water. Just brush the Kinesio tape softly with a cloth to dry it after swimming, exercising or showering.

How To Safely Remove Kinesio Tape

If you wear the tape for more than a few days, it can start to loosen by itself. Here are a few tricks to get the tape off without damaging your skin.

  • To detach the strip, put some lotion or  olive oil on edges of the tape.
  • Remove it slowly and do not yank or pull up.
  • Push down the skin after dragging up one edge of the strip to remove it from the tape.
  • Push the tape back towards itself, instead of straight from you. Compress the skin softly while pushing the tape back towards the end section.
  • Move your fingertips over the skin as you progress.
  • Do not reapply bandage when your skin is damaged or irritated. Consider talking with your doctor or psychotherapist or use  a foundation cream to the damaged area. 

Precautions For Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape is highly beneficial for a variety of different injuries and pains. Although there are certain situations under which kinesiology tape can not be used. One of the main advantages of kinesiology tape is the better circulation of fluids in the body. There are moments, however, when stimulating fluid movement might be harmful. Don't place kinesiology tape on any broken or damaged surface of the skin. People with identified sensitive skin must conduct a "sensitive piece of skin check" for up to 24 hours before full applying. If skin irritation or  skin rush happens, remove tape straight away.

FAQs

  1. How long are you supposed to leave KT tape on?

Kinesio tape remains on the skin for several days. It is suggested to not wear kinesiology tape for more than five days. The amount of time it remains usually depends on the location where the tape is placed. For instance, when applied to a foot or knee or which is inherently a tough tape location, the tape will usually remain on for two or three days. The tape would last for longer for areas such as the back or shoulders.

  1. How does Kinesio tape relieve pain?

Like  a tiger balm ointment, kinesiology tape relieves pain by separating the skin from the underlying tissues. Everybody has nerve sensors in their skin as well as in the dense layers of the muscles, fascia, and other surrounding tissues so that when kinesiology tapes are applied, these areas are compressed or decompressed, causing pain signals to be altered to the brain.

  1. What do the different colors of KT Tape mean?

There is NO variation in colors as they are solely cosmetic. The adhesive is just the same intensity and it doesn't matter what color you apply. The reason why specialists in the instructions use more than one color is that people can easily see whether there is more than one set of tapes.

  1. Can you take a shower with KT tape on?

Yes, because the kinesiology tapes are water-resistant. You can take a bath, showers or swim with kinesiology tape on your skin. You must dry your tape or wipe it with a cloth. Don't use a hairdryer to dry tape and also avoid excessive sun or heat.

  1. Can you apply KT tape by yourself?

Yes, you can. Healthcare practitioners have taught patients for years how to apply the kinesiology tape themselves. It is really simple and typically takes only a couple of attempts to make successful taping. Certain applications of the lower extremities such as shins, knees, Achilles tendonitis, can easily be done by yourself. You need somebody to help you with the applications on the back, neck, and shoulder.

Conclusion

A large number of muscles and sports injuries plus inflammatory disorders may benefit from the therapeutic kinesiology tape. Kinesiology tape is almost similar in elasticity and thickness to human skin, which enables kinesiology tape to be used without binding, restricting or limiting the movement.

You may have found that more elite athletes use kinesiology taping to enhance their athletic performance, avoid injury and make it easier for them to commit to the sport. You should consult a physiotherapist before using it, as it is most effective when mixed with other methods of treatment.


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