How does it work?
How does kinesio tape work? and what does it do?
When applying kinesiotape the muscles and joints are brought into a stretched position, then the tape is applied to the skin. In this way full range of motion remains possible. When the body part returns to its natural relaxed position, the tape lifts the skin slightly. At the place where the tape has been applied, you will see waves forming, these are called convolutions.
The convolutions create space between the epidermis and subcutaneous tissue in which all kinds of receptors of nerves, blood and lymph vessels are located.
85% of the pain sensors are located in the top layer of the skin (the superfascial fascia). The tape activates the pain-reducing system. The pain disappears, allowing the client to move better and use the original muscle function. The result is immediately noticeable within the therapist's treatment.
What should you pay attention to?
If you want to buy kinesio tape you are exposed to a huge range. In recent years, the concept of 'Medical Taping' has grown in popularity. As a result, 'low budget' tapes and suppliers have sprung up like mushrooms.
This can cause problems. Cheap suppliers often save on product quality, such as a bad adhesive layer which can cause skin irritations, poor elasticity or no adhesive strength. Especially if you want to exercise with kinesio tape, it is useful that it stays in place.
Several things are important to help you on your way.
- is the tape CE or similar certified (TÜV or ASTM)
- does the tape stretch well?
- is the tape water-resistant and repellent
- is the tape skin-friendly
- the tape stays on the skin for more than 3 days
What is it?
Kinesiotape is an elastic, cotton tape, often with anti-allergic properties. The tape has a similar stretch as the skin (namely 140%), but is only stretchable in one direction (unlike Dynamic Tape, for example). The adhesive layer on the tape is activated by body heat, so that the tape can often be worn for several days and it is relatively resistant to, for example, water.
What does it do?
For most applications of kinesiotape use is made of the elasticity relative to the skin. After all, when the tape is applied while the skin is stretched, the tape ensures that the skin is lifted slightly when the muscle is relaxed (well-applied tape can therefore often be recognized by the ridges that appear, the so-called convolutions). The main effect of these curves is that more space is created in the subcutaneous tissue, which stimulates the flow of blood and lymphatic vessels.
An improvement in circulation and a decrease in pressure (more space = less pressure) quickly creates pain relief. By decreasing the pain, you can move faster and better, which only further promotes the healing process. In contrast to regular tape, kinesio tape mainly promotes movement, where rigid tape (eg for a sprained ankle) is applied earlier to limit movement. Based on the philosophy of the Medical Taping Concept, the promotion of physiological movements only promotes the recovery of tissues.
In addition to this pain-reducing effect, kinesio tape has even more areas of action. For example, depending on the technique of attachment, it can influence the tone of the muscles. After all, the direction of construction influences the degree of tonization (tensioning) or detonization (relaxation) of the muscle, an effect that can be determined by electromyographic examination (EMG). Because of a complicated interplay of circumstances, the tape “pulls” towards the base of application. So if you apply the tape from origin to insertion of a muscle (eg in the quadriceps: from the muscle abdomen on the buttock to below the knee), you stimulate the muscle to shorten, to contract. On the other hand, if you apply the tape from below the knee upwards, you encourage the muscle to lengthen, to relax. The status of the muscle is an important difference in injuries (detonization, relaxation is usually aimed at) and you immediately understand that this can be a tricky point if the tape is applied incorrectly.
Apart from the pain-reducing and muscle-supporting effect, kinesio tape can also play an important role in the support of joints, blood and lymph drainage stimulate or neuro-reflective pathways to influence. But that would lead us too far.
What to use for?
Where to buy?
Kinesiotape of Sporttape is being sold in more and more places. Think of discount supermarkets such as Kruidvat or Action, but also pharmacies and even hardware stores. However, there is an increasing difference in quality, as we have already mentioned.
You can kinesiotape of course also order online. This can be done at large web shops or individual wholesalers such as Intertaping.BV.
Intertaping specializes in advice and distribution of medical tapes, support tapes and related products for professional therapists, physiotherapists, sports therapists and (semi) professional athletes. We sell different brands of kinesio tape in different colors.
Tips on taping.
Below you will find useful tips for applying kinesio tape. These tips have been developed in response to the many questions about applying our Physiotape.