7 Benefits of Kinesio Taping
Are you tired of dealing with painful muscles or joints? Click here for seven awesome benefits of kinesio taping that will have you feeling great.
If you’re like most people, your first exposure to kinesio taping happened sometime after its explosion in popularity during the 2012 Olympics. Countless world-class athletes plastered themselves with this colorful tape before offering up their peak career performances, leading many viewers to wonder what this mysterious tool could do in their own lives.
Kinesio taping has come a long way since then, gaining traction for use as a therapeutic tool in addition to an athletic one. However, this high demand might not answer your initial questions: what can kinesio taping do for the average sports or workout injury? Can it really impact your pain or recovery?
If you’re unfamiliar with the many benefits of this popular supportive tool, we’ve put together a quick list of what you should know. Here are the top reasons you might want to ask about kinesio taping during your next visit to a pain specialist.
1. Reduction in Bruising, Swelling, and Inflammation
From traumatic accidents to minor sprains, many injuries can cause serious swelling that interferes with the body’s immediate ability to heal. While anti-inflammatory medications can be helpful, patients looking for a more natural approach might opt for kinesio taping instead.
Depending on the location of the injury, kinesiology tape can help reduce both swelling and bruising. This happens because kinesio taping methods help pull the skin away from the bruised tissue, which can improve the circulation of blood and lymphatic fluid to the area. In turn, this enhanced circulation can help the body heal faster.
2. Increased Space Around Joints
Anyone dealing with joint pain knows that it can be frustrating to address. Worse, it’s often more stubborn and lasting than muscular pain.
That’s where kinesio taping comes in.
Experts can use the tape to increase the space around the joint, even by just a fraction. This can reduce irritation that occurs due to bones rubbing together during movement. One small 2017 study found that using kinesio tape to create additional space in the knee joint helped relieve patellofemoral pain, and related studies have published similar findings for the shoulder joint as well.
3. Additional Support for Muscles and Joints
In some cases, a little extra support for the muscles and joints can help athletes reduce their chronic pain. This is especially true of pain in troublesome areas like the shoulders, Achilles tendons, or knees. In essence, kinesio tape acts as a flexible and breathable biomechanical assist.
Even better, because kinesio taping adds support without impacting the way you move your body, some athletes find that it enhances their overall performance and endurance. As an alternative to stiff braces and wraps that restrict movement, kinesio tape doesn’t limit your range of motion and is often a more comfortable supportive option.
4. Altered Pain Signals
Pain can be a tricky thing to treat, especially because it’s sometimes hard to alter the way our nervous system communicates. For some patients, kinesio taping can be the key to doing just that.
Taping lifts the skin and relieves pressure on the tissues below, which changes the messages your sensory receptors send to your brain. This simple change of sensation can be enough to make the brain respond to pain in a different way, causing it to decrease pain and tension in the affected area. In essence, kinesio taping can help to rewrite your brain’s story of pain, which can sometimes encourage it to alter, lessen, or stop its pain signals.
5. Retraining Muscles
Certain injuries or chronic habits can cause the muscles to begin working in ways they shouldn’t, or even to lose some or all of their function.
Expert kinesio taping can help remind your body of the correct movements by supporting the necessary muscle groups. For upper back and neck pain, for example, kinesio taping can sometimes help correct improper movements, allowing you to retrain your muscles on their correct function. Patients may also see success when addressing leg or knee injuries that affect their ability to walk.
6. Better Posture
If you’re like many people, you struggle to fix poor posture that has built up over a lifetime. Posture is a hard habit to fix, and mindfulness alone isn’t often enough to help.
Kinesio tape may be a surprising supportive tool in these cases. It isn’t strong enough to hold the body in place the way a more restrictive posture brace might, but its benefits come in a different form. Because the tape stretches the skin in a way that becomes more obvious when you begin to slouch, it encourages you to fix the habit fast.
7. Versatile Uses
One of the key benefits of this therapeutic support is that there are kinesio taping options for a huge range of conditions.
Kinesio tape can help with bruises and sprains, neck and back pain, shoulder pain, and knee pain. It’s also a great help for sports injuries, especially because it often enhances physical performance. It can even be a great way to add more balanced stomach support and alleviate pain during pregnancy.
In addition, for conditions that involve tricky trigger points, kinesio taping can even help reduce pain and improve range of motion.