Sports Taping, also called Kinesiology taping is widely utilised by Sports and Healthcare Professionals. Designed initially by Kenzo Kase during the Olympics (using his Chiropractic and Acupunture background). Now it is mainly used as performance enhancing for those athletes with minor injuries and also as a pain reduction tool in the everyday person.
It is an elastic form of tape which when directly applied to the human skin, will recoil and this is what provides increased space between your interstitial layers and improves lymph drainage. All in theory of course.
It has been used for many many years now since it took off in the olympics, to help: Reduce Pain, Promote Recovery and Healing, Improve general functions, ensure awareness of posture and it also increases the proprioception.
On the whole these benefits are achieved through decompression which subsequently increases nerve sensor stimulation. Also allowing a change in movement ability.
Decompression theoretically decompressed the capillaries (blood vessels) around the “targeted tissue”, which “MIGHT” help improve both blood flow and drainage from the lymphatic system. So essentially the vertical pull provided by the tape helps this happen.
There are also some possible mechanical effects including: altering glide of fascia layers, changing skin tension and Shortens lax tissues.
Studies have shown improves in foot 🦶🏽 posture in runners with flat feet. As well controlling movement of the back and knee in other studies.
Even with all this stated effects there is very little still known about why the tape may work in those that utilise it.
Knowing that the skin contains many sensory nerves it is thus thought that the constant tight stimulation form the tape onto the skin provides a gentle stimulation on these receptors which then of course consequently feed this to the brain which alters the output – causing potential benefits be it placebo or not.
Nerves are always involved when it comes to these kinds of useful tools. Did you know that there are as many as 45 miles worth of nerves in the single adult human body!? This is why it is also theories that the Tape does not directly deal with your hardware (bones and joints) but actually the software – aka nervous system. Which then subsequently changes the output and its control over your joints and mechanics.
Furthermore this has come into benefit for pain reduction! Studies have proven that many people with a painful shoulder (most common that we see is Impingement) can and will benefit from some form of Kinesiology tape to help manage their pain. In fact it was proven to be just as good as steroid injections, might be worth a try for those that dont want to go under a needle.
If your an athlete or somebody in pain and would like to try some kinesiology tape, book in today with our Chiropractors; Jozef or Bhavik and get your Tape today.
It must be said however, that taping can also cause skin reaction in very few people, especially if they are allergic to the glue. A patch test can be done prior.
Cupler, Z.A., Alrwaily, M., Polakowski, E. et al.Taping for conditions of the musculoskeletal system: an evidence map review. Chiropr Man Therap 28, 52 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12998-020-00337-2
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