Kinesio Tape Dos and Don’ts
Kinesiology tape is a wonder and a marvel. It’s been around for decades, but since seeing colorful strips of it being displayed proudly by Olympic athletes, especially at the Summer Games since 2008, interest in the tape has exploded. Suddenly kinesio tape has been at the forefront of everyday people’s minds, not just physical therapists’, chiropractors’ and professional athletes’.
For us Average Joes, using k-tape (as it’s sometimes called) looks pretty straightforward. At first, application doesn’t appear to be as ‘technical’ as other athletic taping. But it’s best to know a few kinesio tape dos and don’ts before slapping some on.
DO – Have a Professional Show You
If you have an injury, your professional treatment provider should show you the configuration(s) and techniques just right for your problem. Otherwise you may not understand where the tape should go. But if they don’t show you all the kinesio tape dos and don’ts, read on.
DO – Measure Twice, Cut Once
If you cut too much tape, then you waste money and tape. Cut too little and you’ll need to use more to make up for the shortage. This can ruin your application and lessen the effectiveness of the tape. One continuous strip is better than several shorter pieces.
DO – Prep Your Skin
Apply it to clean, dry, bare skin. Use soap and water to clean the area. Remove any hair. Then dry the skin. The tape will stick to your skin much better and will be less inclined to roll or bunch up. That way it can do the job that it was meant to do. Prepare right and the adhesive will continue to stick for 3-7 days.
DO – Use It for the Right Reasons
It’s not just for show. Using kinesio tape in the right situations is very important to how well it does its job:
- Helping relieve tightness and enhancing mobility.
- Reducing muscle fatigue.
- Reducing pain.
- Reducing swelling and edema.
- Improving a feeling of balance and alignment.
- Improving recovery time.
DON’T – Apply in the Wrong Areas
Never apply it over an open wound, open sore, or lesion.
If you’re allergic to adhesives, you may have a reaction to kinesio tape.
DON’T – Tape the Pits
Your armpits are very sensitive. You know that. They also see a lot of action and sweat a lot. When using kinesio tape, do all you can not to tape the armpits.
DON’T – Tape on Tape
Yes, the tape will stick to itself. However, you may lessen its effectiveness if you apply a piece of tape on top of another piece. There is a caveat to this as you may need to apply the tape in a sequence. When you do this, go in a criss-cross pattern.
DON’T – Use the Wrong Width
Kinesio tape comes in rolls of different widths. The most common are 1”, 2” and 4”. Using the right width of tape means the world when taping. This comes down to your treatment professional showing you. Follow that advice and don’t swap out for a different width. He/she chose that specific width for a reason.
So, that’s a few kinesiology tape dos and don’ts. Follow advice and you’ll be feeling the full benefits of this amazing tape just like the pro athletes.
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