What You Need To Know About Wearing Kinesiotape
The summer Olympics is probably what we most people think of when they hear about Kinesiotape. However, this tape is not only for athletes and it can be used for many different reasons. The tape helps with the body’s natural healing process and helps to prolong the benefits of the soft tissue work performed by your PT during your session. Kinesiotape adheres to your skin and lifts it away from the muscle, which allows for better blood flow and it also helps to take pressure off of the muscle. There are many ways to apply Kinesiotape and many different purposes. A few benefits of the tape include: increased lymphatic drainage, decreased inflammation, decreased pain, muscle activation or inhibition, decreased swelling, and increased circulation. The amount of stretch applied, the shape of the tape strip(s) (I, Y, X, etc.)and direction of application will vary based on your condition and the purpose it is being applied. Kinesiotape is used to treat a variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurological, and medical conditions.
Kinesiotape can be worn for 3-5 days at a time. If the tape starts to peel off, itch, or you start to experience an allergic reaction, the tape should be removed immediately. Kinesiotape is safe to wear in the shower, while swimming, while exercising, etc. If the tape gets wet, pat it dry with a towel. Do not use a blow dryer or other forms of heat (ex:heating pad). The tape is heat activated and will become adhered to your skin, making it hard to remove. For best results, wait at least 45 minutes after application before getting the tape wet or participating in physical activity.
Kinesiotape is best removed in the shower or by applying coconut oil (or any other type of oil) over the tape. The moisture helps to soften the tape, making it easier to remove. The tape is adhered to your skin and lifts it slightly and removing the tape when dry or too quickly may result in a bruise or skin irritation. The tape should be peeled off in the direction of hair growth for less discomfort. It may also be more comfortable to gently press the tape back with your finger vs grabbing onto it and pulling it back. The tape should also be removed prior to your next therapy session to give your skin time to breathe.