When Should You Use Kinesiology Tape?

If you’ve ever felt pain or noticed inflammation from playing active sports, it’s time to try kinesiology tape. You don’t have to wait for an injury to start considering treatment. In fact, once you’ve identified key stress points or vulnerable joints, acting early can prevent stress injuries, chronic pain, fatigue, and even serious accidental injuries that would require surgery or braces.

While you might have first been introduced to the idea of kinesiology tape from the Olympics, kinesiology tape is for everyone. If you race, compete, or go to the gym, preventative wellness care is a must. 

Don’t read about kinesiology tape here and then forget about it. It’s especially important for people who:

  • Are recovering from surgery or sports injuries.
  • Have a history of chronic joint or muscle pain.
  • Have a history of lymphedema.

However, kinesiology tape is just one layer of treatment and preventative wellness care. For some people who suffer from inflammation or joint pain, kinesiology tape isn’t enough. It might even have little to no effect. Always talk to your doctor about possible treatment or the best configurations for kinesiology tape application. You can also talk to your trainer about modifying the placement, improving your form, or looking into better footwear, braces, and equipment.

Common Wraps and Techniques for Kinesiology Tape

Most techniques involve three steps:

  1. Preparing or pre-loading the muscles.
  2. Adding decompression strips to reduce inflammation
  3. Adding stabilizing tape for support without restriction.

One of the most common techniques involves applying the tape in a “Y” formation”. After stretching out the muscles through yoga or stretches, extend your muscles as far as comfortably possible. Hold that stretch to apply horizontal strips across the most painful muscle areas to complete the second step. Then, third, encircle the sides and bottom of the muscle group with stabilizing strips that cross at the top or bottom. If you see athletes with “V”s of brightly colored tape on the back of their leg from their knee to the ankle or the back of their shoulder, this is the same technique.

For even more support you might see athletes or weekend warriors with kinesiology tape forming an “X” right under their knee cap. Proper technique makes all the difference when applying kinesiology tape. Matching the wrong technique to muscle pain or not adequately pre-loading the muscle means the tape can’t provide the support or elevation you need. If you’re not sure what technique is the right fit, talk to your trainer or doctor. 

Have more questions about using kinesiology tape?  Contact us today to learn more and check out our selection of taping products!

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