What is it and how does it work?

If you are a follower of sport, and/or take part in sport yourself, you will most probably have come across kinesiology taping. The trend started with David Beckham, Serena Williams, and the England rugby team, and was spotted more recently on just about everyone competing at the London Olympics. As this sort of strapping is being used more commonly by Physiotherapists, you may indeed have seen someone sporting this criss-cross of brightly coloured tape on their calves, thighs or arms at the gym, tennis club or out for a run.


But, what is it and how exactly does it work?

Kinesiology taping is increasingly accepted as an effective strategy in the management of athletic performance. For many years, athletes and sports people have worn rigid, adhesive tape to provide support for vulnerable ligaments, joints and muscles. K-tape differs as it is described as elastic therapeutic tape which mimics the qualities of human skin. The elastic quality of the tape permits muscles and joints to operate through their full range of movement, which is a key principle of kinesiology tape theory. The tapes are usually latex-free hence not usually irritable to the skin.

Five physiological effects of kinesiology taping occur on skin, circulatory system, muscle, fascia and the joint. It can be used effectively to treat muscle pain and spasm, acute swelling and poor joint alignment which requires mechanical correction. The manner in which it works is dependent on the technique used, so light – heavy tension can be applied, one or multiple strips and varying the positioning, and direction of application, according to the desired effect.

At Action Physiotherapy, we are experienced in the application of K-taping, so should it be indicated in the rehabilitation of your injury, it will be one of the techniques used to get you back on the sports field quickly and safely. At the same time, you will be following a sports trend set by top sports stars!