The benefits of kinesio tapes
The most important things in brief
- Whether it's on TV or doing sports: You've probably seen athletes using these colorful, glued-on tapes.
- It's not just a fashion accessory as many believe.
- No, the elastic cotton bands with an adhesive layer of acrylic act as therapeutic tapes.
- But what exactly are the tapes used for?
The kinesiology tape - or kinesio tape for short - is not a colourful, decorative adhesive tape, but an elastic tape that is used for therapy purposes. It doesn't do much directly during sports, but supports the healing processes taking place in the body in the regeneration phase. In this respect, the band is not only suitable for athletes.
The kinesio tape stabilizes the respective body region
The tape is mainly made of cotton, an adhesive acrylic layer ensures that it stays in place permanently. A secure hold is important, because the kinesio tape only makes sense if it stays on the skin for at least four, preferably seven days.
Such a band does not contain any substances that penetrate the skin and affect the muscles, tendons and joints there, like heat ointments or warming plasters do. The tape works by flexibly following all the natural movements of the body at the point where it is stuck - simply because of the stability it gives to the body region. This stability is created because the tape is about as thick as human skin. For this reason, it also has the same elasticity. And that's why it helps with healing. But how does it work?
A kinesiology tape creates more space under the skin
It might sound strange at first, but that's how a band works: It creates more space between the innermost layer of skin and the underlying tissue. And that is enormously valuable for the tissue, be it soft tissue, fascia or muscles. Firstly, the pain receptors are relieved, the constant pressure on them is eliminated. Secondly, the body parts mentioned can slide more easily in the resulting space, which improves mobility significantly.
Thirdly, the lymphatic and blood circulation is optimized. Where the body regenerates itself, i.e. where a healing process takes place, good blood circulation is required. The lymphs, in turn, ensure that any swelling, inflammation or accumulated fluids in the affected body regions are broken down or removed.
Trust the professional
Kinesio tapes can be bought anywhere, but at least for the first application you should trust a specialist and not stick the tapes to the skin yourself. Incorrect placement can have a negative impact on biomechanics. Using too much of the tape or applying too much tension when applying the tape risks irritating your skin and causing blisters.
There are also groups of people who should avoid using the tape. Irritations and rashes can occur with sensitive skin. People with very hairy skin should shave the relevant parts of their body before use, otherwise the tape will not adhere well. Even if you have an allergy to adhesives, doing without is the better decision, as well as in the case of venous thrombosis or open wounds. Last but not least, we do not recommend kinesio tape if you are on active cancer therapy or suffer from systolic heart failure.
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