Kinesiotape is widely used by athletic trainers, physical therapists, and athletics around the world. With the start of the Summer Olympics, you are bound to see more of it. But what does it do? Here are three uses of kinesiotape.
1. It is used to help reduce swelling and inflammation: Kinesiotape can be applied over an acute injury, such as a sprained ankle. The tape will be applied in many small "wavy" strips. This technique is used to help with lymphatic drainage. The theory is the tape gently lifts the many layers of the skin, allowing the edema (or fluid) to drain faster. The tape is usually left on for 24-48 hours.
2. It is used to relax muscles: Kinesiotape can be applied from a muscles insertion (end point) to origin (starting point) with "no stretch." This technique is used to help facilitate relaxation of the muscle fibers. It is applied while the person is in a relaxed position to help stimulate the muscle to relax as well. You will see this technique commonly applied to the neck.
3. It is used to help activate muscle: Kinesiotape can also be used to help facilitate the action of a muscle by applying a "stretch" on the tape. This is usually applied in the position of action, to help the muscle move in that direction. The tape can be applied on full stretch (pulling it as firm as possible) or varying tensions. This is because the tape is very elastic, unlike traditional athletic tape. You will see this technique commonly applied to the shoulder blades or the thigh muscle.
For more information about kinesiotape and its application, contact your local physical therapist or check out www.saramikulsky.com