You’ve seen it: athletes and weekend exercise enthusiasts wearing brightly colored tape arranged in patterns on their back, knees, shoulders, or elbows. To you, it may look like an oversized bandage without a purpose. What you’re actually seeing is Kinesiology Tape, commonly called K-Tape, and your chiropractor may recommend its use to treat injuries to the musculoskeletal system.
What is Kinesiology Tape?
K-Tape is very different from commonly used white athletic tape. White tape restricts the athlete’s range of motion around a specific joint – it has little to no elastic properties. That’s why white tape is typically removed immediately following an event or activity.
In contrast, K-Tape is super stretchy and mimics the weight and thickness of your skin. K-Tape is latex-free, water-resistant, and doesn’t lose its effective properties when worn for several days.
How Does K-Taping Work?
K-Taping lifts the layers of skin, creating a microscopic space between the skin and tissue below. This tiny space helps alleviate pressure and allows the blood and lymphatic fluid to flow freely in and out of the area of injury.
When K-Tape is applied, it stimulates nerve endings called mechanoreceptors, which sense movement in an area. When these mechanoreceptors are stimulated, it increases the feedback to your brain, which forces your body to pay attention to that area.
This is important in removing inflammation and fluid buildup. Kinesiology tape can improve blood flow to the skin, according to a 2017 research article in the Journal of Performance Health Research.
Uses of K-Taping
Chiropractors use K-Tape to help reduce inflammation, increase circulation, reduce pain, improve mobility, enhance recovery, and prevent future injuries.
Conditions where K-Tape is useful include
K-Taping and Chiropractic
Chiropractors specialize in conservative management of spinal conditions, and chiropractic therapy involves much more than adjustive procedures. Your doctor of chiropractic can offer postural advice, reflex techniques, exercise, diet supplementation, exercise and stretching instruction, and socio-occupational advice based on your lifestyle.
As a specialist in the musculoskeletal system, your chiropractor may use K-Tape in combination with chiropractic adjustments to produce maximum benefits.
Remember, when there is a misalignment in your spine, the brain is unable to communicate properly with the rest of the body – and vice versa. To reduce interference to nerves, specific manual chiropractic techniques may be applied when indicated after a comprehensive physical assessment. These techniques restore proper communication, resulting in improved mobility and decreased pain.
After your treatment, your chiropractor may recommend stretches and exercises to perform at home to improve the results – and ultimately, improve your quality of life. In a national survey looking at chiropractic, 95% of patients who had used chiropractic care said it was effective, and 97% of them said they would be likely to return to a chiropractor when having neck or back pain.
CUKC Chiropractic Health Center
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), founded in 1922, is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic, and health science-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas. The CUKC on-campus Chiropractic Health Center is open to the public and treats patients from Kansas City’s 15-county metro area. Our goal is to provide care and solutions for a better, more productive life for our patients.