Kinesiology tape is a supporting tool for recovery and prevention purpose which works – when
applied correctly – by lifting the skin from the tissues below it. Everyone has nerve receptors in their
skin, as well as in the deep layers of the fascia, muscles, and other connective tissues. It’s elastic
tape that provides sensory input into an area, but still allows for full range of motion. It was
developed back in the 1970s by Kenzo Kase, a chiropractic doctor, in Japan; instead of using stiff
medical tape, he wanted to create something that mimicked the elasticity of human skin. While it
was used widely by professional athletes, physical therapists, and trainers alike.
When tape is applied, it causes compression or decompression of these areas, allowing it to alter
pain signals to the brain. We can use more tension to turn on or excite a muscle. If someone gets
surgery to repair their ACL, their quad will likely be weak. Taping the quad with maximum tension,
brings those muscle fibers together, essentially causing a contraction (which is what strengthens
your muscles). On the flip side, if someone has plantar fasciitis and is experiencing a lot of tightness
in their calves, taping with limited tension can turn “off” the muscle so the person isn’t receiving
pain signals. Kinesiology tape really does reduce swelling and pain and increase muscle
function.The tape typically lasts for three to five days, even if you shower or swim with it, and the
constant wear is to re-educate the body to perform in a more optimal way.
Depending on the way kinesiology tape is applied, it can be used for a variety of different things
including, but not limited to, muscle inhibition/facilitation, pain relief, decreasing swelling,
proprioceptive stability (helping your muscles provide stability while still allowing for motion), and
tissue decompression.