General Advice: Kinesiology Taping

Back In Action. Experts in clinical chiropractic & remedial massage; local to Tewkesbury

Please Note: Whilst we have included this page on Kinesiology Taping in the section for Massage; both the chiropractor and the massage therapist are trained in the application of taping (both kinesiology and Zinc Oxide)

Zinc Oxide taping of an ankleKinesiology taping differs from traditional taping with Zinc Oxide tape (AKA ZnOT). ZnOT is a rigid, inflexible tape used mostly to limit ranges of motion and to constrict muscle movement. The effect of ZnOT is to prevent an injured muscle or joint moving too far and being re-injured; or to reduce the stress where the muscle or tendon anchors itself to the bone.
Conversely, kinesiology tape is stretchy, elastic and breathable, attempting to mimic the structure of the skin. The application of kinesiology tape is thought to have 2 principal effects, which can be utilised in different ways.Kinesiology taping of a shoulder

One would be to provide neurosensory feedback through the skin, and the muscles underneath it, which may encourage superficial muscles to hold slightly more or slightly less tension—making them slightly more eager to contract on demand, or to reduce fatigue in an overly tense muscle.
This same effect of providing feedback to the skin can also be used to protect against overstretch injury (or to encourage a better posture) by increasing the feedback when the muscle, ligament, tendon or joint is taken too far (as opposed ZnOT, which actively prevents the excess movement).

Kinesiology taping to reduce bruisingA second effect would be to slightly lift the skin away from the underlying tissue, which may allow increased movement of any fluid (bruising, oedema) there, increasing blood flow, and reducing swelling.
It is theorised that this same effect may also reduce pressure on pain receptors, providing a degree of analgaesia.

ZnOT is typically worn only for the duration of an athletic (or other potentially aggravating) event; kinesiology tape can be Kinesiology taping of a runnerworn for 24 hours a day, and typically stays on for 3-5 days.
NB: The glue used with kinesiology tape is heat activated, so the warmer it is, the stickier it becomes; unlike ZnOT DO NOT try to remove kinesiology tape in the bath or shower! Equally, don’t just rip it off like a plaster; this glue is much stronger.
We recommend rubbing olive oil (or baby oil) into the tape, and letting it sit for 15-20 minutes; then peeling it back, in the direction of hair growth, stretching the skin away from the tape.
With either form of taping—we (strongly) recommend shaving the area before applying.

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