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Kinesio Tex tape is a stretchy, latex-free, cotton fiber tape with a heat-activated backing that is not supposed to impede range of motion or performance in those who use it.   While kinesio tape is supposed to do many things such as alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, enhance performance, help with injury rehabilitation, and support muscles during athletic events, research has not supported many of these claims.  I spoke with one expert who recently finished a course on kinesio taping.  She said she was skeptical about the use of the tape for musculoskeletal injuries, but she did feel the tape was very effective for lymphatic drainage and areas that have large bruises.  Kinesio tape works by creating more space between the top layers of skin and the muscle below allowing for better lymphatic drainage and flow to affected areas. This increased space may also be beneficial for increasing muscle’s ability to contract and possibly increasing the healing process by unblocking pathways between nerve receptors and the brain.  Other experts feel a benefit of taping may be psychological as athletes feel more confident with their ability to perform while being taped.  In essence, the tape provides a placebo effect for athletes.  However, it is important to remember that this methodology of taping does not actually provide support to the injured part of the body as traditional taping does.  Also, applying this tape is difficult to do by yourself so be sure to seek out someone qualified to appropriately place tape to affected areas needing increased lymphatic flow. 

In general, most experts are unconvinced of the all the supposed benefits of kinesio taping.  However, in the end, it may be worth a try especially if there is bruising in a particular area.

 

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Sophie Pratola
704-604-1518
Personally Trained By Sophie