Concepts Of Kinesio Taping Therapy
Muscles constantly extend and contract within a normal range; however, when muscles over-extend and over contract, such as when lifting an excessive amount of weight, muscles cannot recover and become inflamed. When a muscle is inflamed, swollen or stiff due to fatigue, the space between the skin and muscle is compressed, resulting in constriction to the flow of lymphatic fluid. This compression also applies pressure to the pain receptors beneath the skin, which in turn communicates, “discomfort signals” to the brain; the person then experiences PAIN. This type of pain is known as myalgia, or muscular pain.
Conventional athletic tape is designed to restrict the movement of affected muscles and joints. For this purpose, several layers of tape must be rolled around and/or over the afflicted area, applying significant pressure; resulting in the obstruction of the flow of bodily fluids…an UNDESIRABLE side-effect. This is also the reason athletic tape is generally applied immediately before the sports activity, and removed immediately after the activity is finished. On the other hand, Kinesio Taping is based on a different philosophy that aims to give free range of motion in order to allow the body’s muscular system to heal itself bio-mechanically.
To ensure that the muscles have free range of motion, Kinesio Taping is an elastic, malleable tape with an elasticity of 130-140% of its original length. This specific elasticity allows free range of motion while limiting an over stretch of the muscles themselves. It may look like conventional athletic tape, but tape and Kinesio Taping is fundamentally very different.