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Ever wonder what that colorful tape is everyone seems to be wearing?
It’s Kinesiology tape (or kinesio-tape). There are numerous brands on the market, my preferred is RockTape. It seems to stick better and longer, plus they have cool designs!
The tape is a stretchy cotton fiber tape that allows it to contour and move with your body. It provides support and stability to the skeletomuscular system without decreasing motion. Kinesio-tape may be worn for 3-5 days and can get wet, just pat it dry post showering.
How does this tape work?
Current theories suggest the tape pulls on the upper layers of the skin thus creating more space between the skin and the muscle. Traveling through this space are the lymph vessels, nerve receptors and blood vessels. Creating adequate space takes “pressure” off of these structures and allows for improved circulation of lymph fluid and blood and improved nervous system communication between the brain and the body. This allows the body to function in a more normal manner and creates an environment for healing to occur.
Who should try kinesio-tape?
Anyone who is having issues currently recovering from an injury. What’s cool about the tape is it can help provide feedback to the body reinforcing proper biomechanics, which allows you to continue your running while recovering from an injury. What runner wouldn’t like that? Kinesio-tape allows for healing to occur, but you still need to do the retraining/rehabilitation of the area that has been impacted to improve function. Kinesio-tape helps facilitate the process and gets you back running sooner.
How should you use it?
Kinesio-tape can be applied in numerous ways. You can tape to help decrease swelling and bruising. Tape can also be applied to help stabilize an area in a range of motion that is restricted and/or painful. Another way to tape is for reduction of pain.
Rock tape has an amazing YouTube channel showing countless ways to use the tape. You can also watch the Periscope replay below where I demonstrate how to tape for plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis, improved ankle stability and knee pain, these are the most common for runners/endurance/trail runners.