"Ever wondered what that brightly coloured tape is that athletes are wearing on TV? Do the different colours mean anything? Why does it look like a spider has attacked them? Who can use it? Where can I get it done to help me too?
This taping is called KinesioTaping and is an elastic therapeutic tape that has gained worldwide attention and popularity in recent years. It was developed over 25 years ago in Japan and unlike conventional rigid strapping tape it is not compressive so it works with the body by not restricting joint range.
Depending upon the taping technique applied, Kinesio tape has been reported to reduce swelling, support muscles and joints, and increase proprioceptive awareness. Additionally, the tape can lift up the skin above areas of inflammation and swelling to improve the blood flow and drainage of fluids promoting healing and a reduction in pressure on pain sensitive receptors.
Kinesio tape can stretch to 140% of its resting state to mimic the flexibility of the skin and muscles. The adhesive is heat-activated, light, and hypo-allergenic which causes less skin sensitivity or irritability than standard tapes used. The unique wave design of the tape keeps it air-permeable as it microscopically lifts skin and channels away moisture. It is also quite durable and comfortable allowing for tape to be left on for up to five days.
The various colours and application styles of Kinesio tape has improved the tapes worldwide exposure and attention. A common question asked by clients is "what is the difference between the colours?" There is no physical or chemical difference between the colours. The colours were developed to be compatible with colour therapy in which people connect more with certain colours. The brightly coloured tape additionally offers people instant brand recognition and colour is a matter of individual preference. So if you’ve got a thing for pink...go for it!
Taping methods vary significantly depending upon the reason of application. The tape can be cut so strips can be fanned out to follow the natural direction of the muscle fibres or to promote drainage of fluid over a larger area. The versatility of the tape allows it to be utilised in the management of a wide spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions."