WHAT IS KINESIOLOGY TAPING?
Kinesiology taping exploded onto the international sports scene during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but how exactly can runners benefit? Tim Galliver, Clinic Director at Six Physio Kensington, breaks down how kinesiology taping works and how it can help you alleviate pains and injuries in training and competition:
How does it work?
The key to kinesiology tape is how it stretches once it’s applied to the skin. This provides support when you’re running, protects muscles and/or joints and allows a safe and functional range of motion which is non-restrictive.
The support, protection and flexibility of kinesiology tape allows you to train and race while injuries heal by reducing strain and promoting better blood circulation. It is, however, not a permanent solution to fixing running pains and injuries (see below).
Most other types of tapes are typically sticky but non-elastic (like non-stretchy zinc oxide sports tape), which can restrict your movement and cause skin irritation. Kinesiology tape is also breathable and fast-drying, which means it can worn for longer during intense exercise like running, swimming and in the shower.
Can I benefit from kinesiology taping?
Muscle injuries, ligament strains and swelling can all be helped with kinesiology taping. It’s important to get an accurate diagnosis and understanding of what your running problem is before you start to treat it, otherwise you risk making it worse.
Taping should never be a permanent solution to managing an injury. The taping is predominately there to alleviate pain and support an affected area to allow you to rehabilitate the injury better. It’s a guide to injury management, not a replacement!
How is it applied to an injury?
It’s important that taping is applied correctly to ensure that you maximise its benefits. Poor application can exacerbate pain or injury.
It’s highly recommend to be taught the correct application for your specific injury so that you can learn how to effectively self-apply. Pre-cut tape strips and uncut roles are available for self-taping.
Expert tip from Six Physio: Allergic reactions can come from zinc oxide in tape. If it itches or irritates, peel off the tape, don’t rip it off!