Kinesiology Tape – Is It Applied Stretched Or Un-stretched?
It’s well known that Kinesiology Tape can help to reduce pain. Yet, there is still a lot of speculation about how it works. Until recently it has been a common assumption applying Kinesiology Tape with tension causes convolutions in the skin. In turn, this stimulates the mechanoreceptors in the brain, forcing the brain to focus elsewhere due to the alternative source of neural input. This is a similar principal that T.E.N.S therapeutic actions work on.
However, research in Brazil investigating the effects of Kinesiology Tape on cold-induced pain is challenging this idea.
Maybe it isn’t necessary to apply this tape stretched to still get the same results?
The study published in 2015 involved 85 university students split into two groups. The first group had stretched Kinesiology Tape applied to the back of their non-dominant wrist/hand, while the other group also had the tape applied to the same area of the body, but without the stretch.
The study participants’ hands were exposed to 0-2°C water to test cold-induced pain. The time it took to report pain and the total time participants were able to keep their hands immersed was recorded. This process was preformed both with and without the application of Kinesiology Tape.
The researchers found that that the time it took for the onset of pain increased significantly for both groups when the Kinesiology Tape was applied. Also the level of discomfort declined. There was no difference between the group with un-stretched tape and the group with stretched tape.
Although this study doesn’t explain the mechanisms behind the pain-reducing effects of Kinesiology Tape, it does highlight that applying the tape stretched or un-stretched may have the same effect. This may make it easier for people to use Kinesiology Tape for the first time with more confidence.