It is likely that you have seen Olympic and professional athletes use some sort of colored ribbons on different body parts during competitions. It is called Kinesiological Taping or Neuromuscular Bandage and has many advantages. Find out more about Kinesiology Taping in this article!
What is kinesiological taping
Also known as ” Kinesio taping”, it is a method that provides stability to those joints or muscles that have suffered an injury or are prone to pain and contractures. Kinesiology Taping is usually used in a preventive way to avoid injuries, to recover from injuries and to reduce pain or edema.
Taping is a technique that has been used for years in the professional sports field. However, it only became “famous” during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when several athletes made their appearance with colored ribbons on their arms, shoulders, knees or wrists.
Taping must be placed by a doctor specializing in kinesiology. Many times, it is the same specialist who takes care of the athlete, as well as a physiotherapist and a chiropractor.
Where it is located
Kinesiological Taping is applied to the affected areas of the body, starting from the end of a muscle and bringing it up to the end causing tension. This type of tape is put on the skin and creates a small space between the dermis and the muscle, which improves blood flow and promotes the healing process of a lesion.
The neuromuscular band attracts attention for its bright colors, which change for a purely aesthetic reason. The rest of the tape is always the same: it is made of cotton fibers, allows perspiration and has an acrylic adhesive to stick to the skin, which is activated with body heat.
One of the main features of Kinesiological Taping is that it can stretch up to 140% of its normal length.
This method is based on ancient neuromuscular bandaging techniques, according to which tissues work best when there is less pressure or tension in the area. Therefore, greater fluidity and lower pressure result in less pain and better movement.
It is not, although one might believe the opposite, an illegal method to have advantages over the adversaries. For this reason, it can be used in national and international competitions, including the Olympic Games or the worlds of the various disciplines.
Most athletes who use kinesiology taping do it to avoid repetitive injuries, to not feel the pain of an old contracture or to recover faster despite the effort that the muscle suffers during a workout or competition. Therefore, it is not used without a reason, for the simple fact of being able to “move the joint more”.
What are the advantages of Kinesiological Taping?
As it takes into account the regenerative capacity of the human body, more and more athletes use it. Furthermore, this type of bandage allows the activation of circulatory and neurological systems.
Muscles are able to control many processes, not just the “simple” movements of the human body. They also intervene in circulation, in temperature balancing, and in many more things.
Another advantage of Kinesiological Taping is the treatment of muscle pain because it relieves pressure on the nerves. If these are highly compressed, the impulses that are sent to the brain are pain and discomfort. This relieves muscle overload!
How to place a Kinesiological Taping
The Kinesiotaping is available in three basic sizes: The small areas and linear; Y for the big muscles and X for the big and long muscles.
First of all, you have to stretch it a little and then remove the adhesive. The idea is to position one of the ends where the muscle begins and spread it to the area you want to relax. The rule says that you cannot put the strip at the end of the muscle because it could generate strains or cramps.
Once placed, it lasts about four days and does not come off with water or sweat. We must remove the tape, in the direction of the hair (previously shaved), without pulling too much.
To conclude, we can say that it is OK to use Kinesiological Taping when we have suffered an injury or have muscle pain. In this way, you will see that you can work out without problems and accelerate your recovery.