ATHLETIC AND KINESIOLOGY TAPING
Athletic taping is a traditional method of taping, normally used to help recover from overuse injuries, which provides benefits when playing sport or carrying out physical activity. It is usually made from cotton, backed with a strong zinc-oxide adhesive making it resistant to sweat and can adhere directly to the skin, or stick to itself.
The primary function of the tape is to provide added support to the joints, muscles and ligaments, by reducing the movement physically keeping a joint or muscle in a fixed position.
Zinc Oxide (ZO) tape is used specifically for the immobilisation of joints as it is rigid, meaning it will not stretch.
Elastic Adhesive Bandage (EAB) tape has a slight length ways stretch meaning that it can be manipulated to combine support, compression and flexibility to an injured joint.
Both of these tapes aim to reduce pain and can aid with recovery. In essence it aims to protect the injured area whilst it is recovering.
Kinesiology taping is a more advanced method of taping, which provides stability and support to joints and muscles, but doesn’t restrict movement. Kinesiology tape is made from reinforced cotton sheathes, or specifically engineered synthetic fabric. These materials allow the tape to stretch in length but prevent the tape from stretching in width.
Rather than being wrapped around an injured joint or muscle group, kinesiology tape is often applied directly over the area. This non-restrictive type of taping allows the tape to be worn for 3-5 days, allowing the therapeutic benefits to accumulate for the entire time it is worn.
Kinesiology tape also assists in the healing of traumatised tissue and muscle whilst allowing the skin to breather. Essentially, the elasticated properties of kinesiology tape creates a sub-dermal vacuum that assists the lymphatic and venous drainage systems, to work more efficiently by lifting the skin away from the swollen tissue, reducing swelling and bruising.