Do you ever wonder what that colourful tape is used for you see athletes wearing at major sporting events?
Welcome to the world of K-Tape. It was first established in Germany many years ago, but has grown in popularity across many countries around the world. The tape has many functions thanks to its multiple effects on the body. It is used for competitive and professional sports, and supports a wide range of clinical conditions such as lymphatic drainage, post-operative rehabilitation, migraines, menstrual pain and urinary dysfunction.
How does K-Tape Work?
Basic Functions and Effects of K-Taping
- Improvement of muscle function – K-Tape alters the muscle tension (depending on how it is applied) to correct imbalances, allowing the muscle to return to normal function.
- Elimination of circulatory restrictions – Inflammation and chemical mediators are a by-product of tissue injury which can cause pressure and swelling in that area. K-Tape can raise the skin and the tissues in the injured area, increasing space between the skin and damaged tissues. Therefore, lymph fluid can flow more easily, blood circulation can improve and pain receptors decrease firing.
- Pain reduction – K-Tape stimulates the skin receptors to reduce the amount of pain perception in the body.
- Supports joint function – Different application techniques can correct muscle imbalances, improve propioception (body/joint awareness in space) or provide passive support for the joint allowing it to move with less stress.
The Four Application Techniques
- The muscle technique is used to increase or decrease muscle tension following an injury.
- The ligament technique relieves pressure and pain, as well as supports tendons and ligaments.
- Corrective techniques are divided into two categories – functional correction is used to correct bony positions; fascia correction is used for adhesions within muscle fascia, resulting in the fascia loosening and pain reduction.
- The lymphatic correction technique is used when lymph flow is disrupted by lifting the skin, hence increasing the space between skin and subcutaneous tissue and lymph fluid to allow easier flow into the lymphatic circulation.
The elasticity of the K-Tape mimics the human muscle with its flexible pre-stretched properties. It is water resistant and has breathable properties making it comfortable to wear for up to 5 days. It can even be worn in the shower! It does not contain any pharmaceutically active or adhesive ingredients.
Contraindications (When you Shouldn’t Use This Tape)
- Open wounds
- Unhealed incisions/wounds
- Dermatitis, psoriasis and shingles
- Allergic to acrylic
- Congestive heart failure/cardiac insufficiency for lymphatic techniques
Injured and in pain? Let’s get to the bottom of it and get you better! Sports & Exercise Medicine Institute is the leading sports medicine, physiotherapy, and chiropractic clinic in the Greater Toronto Area. We offer expert diagnoses, a variety of treatment options, and high-quality care. Click here to learn more about the services we offer, or contact us to schedule an appointment.
K-Taping Pro and Sport course and manual by Birgit Kumbrink