You may have noticed people wearing brightly coloured strapping tape on their bodies on and off the sporting field. This type of tape is called ‘Kinesiology Tape’ (brand names include K-Tape, Rock Tape or Spider Tape) and is different from traditional strapping tape. Traditional tape is non-elastic and is used to support and restrict an injured joint (such as a rolled ankle). The difference and the advantage of Kinesiology tape is its elasticity, making it comfortable to wear and less restrictive. Depending on how it is applied it can be used for a few different purposes, such as;
• help reduce pain and inflammation by improving circulation to an acutely injured muscle/tendon/ligament. (It may be useful to use kinesiology tape early on when recovering from an injury, ie. torn or strained muscle).
• to provide support to an injured joint whilst allowing movement. Rather than restricting the joint from moving, kinesiology tape can help facilitate muscles to work better to actively support the joint. This is useful for less serious ligament strains or later in the rehabilitation process following a joint strain when returning to sports/activities.
• assist in recovery and return to activity after soft tissue injury (ie. muscle strains or overuse injury like tennis elbow or shin splints). The elastic property of the tape can distribute load away from the damaged/inflamed soft tissue whilst it continues to recover.
• on athletes to enhance performance and assist with muscle recovery (via helping remove lactic acid, reducing fatigue, cramps and muscle soreness).This is not an exhaustive list, but a few examples of types of injuries that Kinesiology tape usually helps with when combined with physiotherapy treatment. Feel free to talk to one the physiotherapists at Arana Hills Physiotherapy to discuss whether this tape could help you.
· Joint instability/ hypermobility
· Torn/strained muscles
· Muscle pain (ie. fibromyalgia)
· Muscle spasms
· Tendinopathy/tendinitis (such as rotator cuff, tennis elbow, Gluteal tendinopathy, patella tendinopathy, Achilles tendinopathy)
· Plantar fasciitis, Severs disease, Osgood Schlatters disease
· Postural issues
Wearing colourful tape is often fun and helpful but it is designed to work most effectively when combined with physiotherapy treatment/exercise and stretches to treat the actual injury or condition. We also provide a strapping service for all our clients who pop in (appointment required) and get professionally strapped for a nominal fee.
And if you’ve ever wondered if the different colours and patterns mean anything, the answer is no. The colour and patterns comes down to what you like best or your team colours.