It’s difficult to find a single sporting event where you won’t see an athlete wearing colorful tape somewhere on their body. You may have wondered what it is, and more importantly what it’s used for. The tape is called kinesio tape and was initially developed by a Chiropractor about 40 years ago. It works by providing a slight mechanical assistance to joints and muscles and by stimulating proprioception, which is your body’s ability to know where it is in space.
Why it Matters:
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, and it’s loaded with small sensory nerve fibers that are responsible for proprioception. Placing tape in specific areas of your body across the skin provides sensory input that gives your brain more information as you move. This additional information has been shown to help improve balance, reduce pain, and support proper movement patterns.
You can think of the kinesio tape less like a brace and more like a nervous system reminder that you wear on your skin. Not only does it look cool, but it has the potential to support better movement, reduce pain, and limit injuries. Now the next time you see an athlete wearing tape, you will know it’s more than just a fashion statement!
(1) Extended use of Kinesiology Tape and Balance in Participants with Chronic Ankle Instability. Journal of Athletic Training 2016
(2) Efficacy of kinesio taping versus postural correction exercises on pain intensity and axioscapular muscles activation in mechanical neck dysfunction: a randomized blinded clinical trial. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017
by Christopher Freytag, D.C.
Previous Post: Dynamic Stretching: A New Way to Feel Better
Next Post: A Spinal Disc Bulge or Herniation: What’s the Difference?