Tape looks cool but what does it do?
Taping for injuries has a long history, but it has really evolved over the past few decades. While in the past taping had been used to prevent movement in the hopes to limit pain, kinesiogy tape is now more widely used to reduce pain while allowing maximum range of motion.
Kinesiology tape can be used in a variety of ways such as for muscle re-education, for swelling reduction and for pain relief. Kinesiolgy tape gained national attention when olympic beach volley ballers Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh wore it during the 2008 Olympics. How does it work? Tape pulls the fascia away from the muscles to allow ease of movement and reduce the restrictions that may have been contributing to pain. Fascia is as thin fibrous connective tissue that covers our muscles and allows proper movement of muscles.
Kinesiology tape can also be used to help reduced edema or localized swelling. Tape has been a great tool for medical professionals and physical therapist. Tape can help the effects of the a PT session to last longer outside of therapy. Though there is still more data to prove the exact science and outcomes of tape, it does work. I have found it effective for my own injuries as well as for my patients. As an example, check out this link to see how to tape for low back pain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scRbpm3VCRk
There are many different tapes out there but the one we prefer to use at our clinic is Rock tape. This is because we have found it to stay on longer than other brands. If you haven’t tried taping yet, ask about it at your next PT session!