How to Improve your Athletic performance with Kinesiotaping
If you have watched sporting activities lately you have probably noticed athletes with colorful tape on their bodies. This type of taping is called kinesiotaping and it is often used with athletes. However, there are all sorts of applications for kinesiotaping. Recently several interesting studies have been performed regarding how taping affects movement and muscle recruitment. Studies have demonstrated that taping positively affects calf muscle recruitment and push-off force (article 1 & article 2). Studies have shown that tape can decrease patellofemoral (kneecap) pain article & article. Taping has been shown to decrease acute neck and low back pain as well article.
There are Seven Benefits of Kinesiotaping:
Kinesiotaping relieves pain through both physical and neurological mechanisms. The lifting action of the tape relieves pressure on pain receptors directly under the skin, allowing for quick relief from acute injuries. Chronic pain is affected through sensory stimulation of other types of nerve fibers. This is especially effective for pain that persists after an injury has healed or for pain that is out of proportion to the severity of an injury.
Reduced Swelling, Inflammation and Bruising
Reduced pressure on the lymphatic drainage channels enhances the removal of fluids and other materials that collect in an injured area. This applies not only to sports injuries, but to other inflammatory conditions, including the extreme swelling of lymphodema.
Prevention or Relief from Spasms and Cramping
Enhanced circulation to working muscles helps deliver oxygen and nutrients at the cellular level as well as accelerate the removal of waste products. Both of these mechanisms can help prevent or relieve spasms and cramps in overused or injured muscles.
Faster Recovery of Overused Muscles
Fatigued, overused muscles will have excessive levels of byproducts such as lactic acid that contributes to pain and stiffness, and limits your ability to continue exercising. When kinesiotaping is used over these areas, enhanced removal of these byproducts allows for more rapid recovery. This could translate into improved performance in endurance events or more complete recovery between repetitive, high intensity events.
Structural Support for Weak or Injured Body Parts
The unique elastic properties of kinesiotaping allow it to provide support to an injured muscle or joint, discouraging harmful movements while still allowing a safe, healthy range of motion.
Enhanced Strength and Muscle Tone in Weak or Injured Muscles
Loss of strength or muscle tone can result from pain, injury or a variety of neurological or muscular disorders. In these situations, the weakness can interfere with the ability to do the exercises that are critical to recovery or improving daily functioning. Kinesiotaping not only provides support to these areas, but it can also improve neurological muscle activation, allowing exercises to be carried out more effectively.
Allows Athletes to Remain Active while Injured
This is one of the most important benefits of kinesiotaping for competitive athletes. Injuries can be taped to relieve pain, minimize inflammation and provide support for injured structures, without compromising a healthy range of motion.
In the clinic we have seen good results with taping patients’ upper shoulders and neck after a car accident. Also, we have had good results taping the low back, knee and foot. There are great applications for sports as well. Depending on your sport, we can strategically tape muscles to recruit better muscle firing.
The great thing about kinesiotaping is that it is completely safe for most situations and has no side effects. The tape that we use has a very mild adhesive that does not irritate the skin and is made from organic cotton. We can apply the tape near recent surgical sites and over joint replacements. Kinesiotaping can be used on all types of patients including children and active adults not just athletes.
Like so many interventions we use in physical therapy, I feel movement is the best medicine for injuries, but we can make exercise easier or more tolerable with things like kinesiotaping. What I love about the taping is that it is so easy to use. The combination of exercise and taping allows us to unlock your body’s ability to heal. If you are interested in being taped for sport or physical therapy in general contact us at Siskiyoupt.com.
As a reminder, all patients do not need a referral to go to physical therapy. Call now to make an appointment, and we’ll send all necessary communications to your primary care provider.
Jon Hill, DPT, Licensed Doctor of Physical Therapy with Siskiyou PT
If you like this post or have a question. Comment below.