What is Kinesiotape/Rocktape?
Kinesiology Taping (KT) is a therapeutic tool that has become increasingly popular, especially among the sporting population1. Chances are you have seen your favourite sports star with colourful strips of tape splayed over parts of their body. Taping is a tool long used for the treatment and prevention of injuries and KT is no different. KT is characterised by its ability to stretch and be manoeuvred into awkward positions, similar to that of our skin.
How does KT work?
While KT is only a relatively new tool used by healthcare practitioners, the early research into its effectiveness is promising.
As mentioned earlier, kinesiology tape is stretchy and designed to mimic the skin’s elasticity allowing you to use your full range of motion2. When the tape is applied, it recoils slightly and gently lifts the skin. This lifting of the skin creates microscopic space between your skin and the underlying tissues1. Theories on how KT works include:
- Encourages regeneration of injured tissues2 – The microscopic lifting of the skin encourages healing by increasing the space between the skin and injured tissue and alleviating the pressures which can occur from swelling post injury2.
- Reduces pain2 – the lifting of the skin and decreased pressure can decompress nociceptors (pain receptors) under the skin, thus decreasing pain2.
- Reduces swelling and increases blood flow2 – it is theorised that lifting the skin creates channels for lymph to drain, thus reducing inflammation and swelling and allowing increased blood flow to the area2.
What is KT used for?
KT is never used as a sole treatment or management strategy, but in conjunction with other methods; such as manual therapy and exercise rehabilitation.
- Assisting with reducing pain and inflammation with injuries
- Supporting weak areas of the body
- Re-educating muscles
- Enhancing performance
- Managing scars
Kinesiology taping is a fast growing tool used by health practitioners. If you are interested in KT and believe it is something that may help you, come and see one of the fantastic osteopaths at Berwick Family Osteopathy and Spinal Clinic!
Blog written by Dr Adam Young – Registered Osteopath.
Berwick Family Osteopathy & Spinal Clinic