If you play or watch sports you’ve likely noticed the colourful tape that athletes wear around their knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows or wrists. Kinesiology or sports taping is a therapeutic taping technique that provides support and stabilizes joints and muscles. Kinesiology taping isn’t only for athletes though, since taping helps to enhance circulation in the affected area chiropractors often use tape to help their patient’s rehabilitate many different types of injury. It’s great for athletes and weekend warriors alike because taping provides stability while allowing the body to move without restriction. Read on to learn how it’s used and find out if kinesiology tape is right for you.  

Chiropractors often use taping techniques to help support your joints and speed recovery from an injury. Tape can be used to provide stability to joints and ligaments, support to injured muscles and to decrease swelling and bruising.

While there are many types of tape and techniques out there, one of the more common approaches uses kinesiology or sports tape. There are many brands of kinesiology tape with popular brands like K-tape, RockTape, and Spider tape being the most common. While all brands work similarly, at Evolve we choose tape that is water resistant, highly adhesive yet gentle enough to remove without pain. This type of tape has become increasingly popular with health professionals due to its versatility. 

Kinesiology tape is breathable so it can stay on for several days and even withstand showering or swimming. It has a natural elasticity to it that supports the injured area without restricting movement, so it stays comfortable. Because of these reasons, chiropractors have been using kinesiology tape more often to facilitate and enhance their patient’s recovery with less pain.

For example, if you were to roll your ankle, kinesiology tape can be applied to the joint to decrease swelling, provide support to the ligaments, and stimulate the nerves that supply the joint: this protects the joint while it heals while also helping to strengthen voluntary control over the area. Kinesiology tape can also decrease pain which allows the individual to walk sooner without limping: this enhances recovery and helps maintain balance in supporting joints and muscles in other areas of the body.  In addition to ligament sprains, kinesiology tape works well for muscle or tendon injuries, whether acute or chronic; to support lymphatic drainage, healing of acute hematomas (deep bruises) and postural correction techniques. 

When you are initially using kinesiology tape it should be applied by a professional trained in the use of the tape. After an assessment of your needs your chiropractor will be able to demonstrate tape application and ensure you are applying it correctly so that it supports but doesn’t restrict movement. Always keep in mind that the tape should be removed if it causes redness or skin irritation or increases pain.

Please note that any advice in this article doesn’t replace personalized medical advice from a professional.

If you have an injury that you think might benefit from kinesiology taping, we would be happy to assess the injury and teach you how to best use the tape to speed up your recovery. To learn more, email us at info@evolvevancouver.ca to book an appointment with one of our knowledgeable chiropractors.