Kinesiology tape is a therapeutic tape that both physicians and athletes use to help relieve pain, muscle tension, and inflammation without requiring a prescription or over-the-counter medications. When the tape is applied over the affected area it works to improve blood flow, restore range of motion and make movement easier.
Taping is used by various athletes (including several professional athletes) to help them recover from the wear and tear of everyday activity and exercise. The tape’s therapeutic effect occurs by providing a combination of skin elevation and skin stimulating around the muscles and ligaments that are overworked, injured, and/or healing. This can improve blood flow, reduce inflammation and pain, and can also improve range of motion. Kinesiology tape is a proven reliable tool trusted by experts and athletes for healing strained muscles and sprained ligaments because it helps our body naturally heal more efficiently.
Table of Contents
Who Benefits from Kinesiology Tape?
The advantages of kinesiology tape extend far beyond the circle of athletes. The tape can be used to treat a wide range of issues for different groups including:
- Professional athletes treat muscle injuries and tendon inflammation as well as improve performance.
- Non-athletes treat work-related injuries such as shoulder injuries, sore knees, plantar fasciitis, and shin splints.
- Pregnant women to treat lower back pain and pelvic pain.
- Gamers to relieve wrist, forearm, neck, and shoulder pain.
- People wanting to treat, conceal, or protect scars on different parts of the body.
While the benefits of kinesiology tape are undeniable, you may be wondering why this product is so popular among athletes in particular. The answer is two fold. First, kinesiology tape, which is made from cotton elastic fabric with a latex-free, hypoallergenic, medical adhesive is proven to help with various sports injuries. Second, once you start wearing the tape, athletes say it can give you a competitive edge in the form of less pain and fatigue during and after training or competition.
Kinesiology tape works to relieve pain in a variety of different ways. For one, the tape can provide pain relief by supporting the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in and around the joints. This is particularly helpful for people who suffer from shoulder pain, knee pain, back pain, plantar fasciitis pain, foot pain, and more. Tape can also help correct alignment problems. Experts and consumers also appreciate how kinesiology tape can speed up recovery times for their strains, sprains, and more. By just applying the elastic, cotton-based materials to sore muscles and joints, they can easily and safely use this product to enhance their healing.
But what about the one-piece pre-cut technology in kinesiology tape? What makes it so special and effective compared to other products?
The One Piece Pre-Cut Advantage
To put it simply, if you want a guaranteed way to experience the benefits of kinesiology tape, one-piece pre-cuts are your best bet. Pre-cut versions of kinesiology tape are machine cut, eliminating the need for scissors and making tape easier to apply to the body. Pre-cuts are made in various shapes and sizes, depending on the specific body part they are designed to fit. Pre-cuts come in either general shapes designed for full body use or body part-specific shapes designed for maximum support for a specific joint. For example, an X shape is designed for full body use and can be easily self-applied on any part of the body that is painful or requires support, while the Low Back Pre-cut is designed to take all the guesswork out apply kinesiology tape application and comes in the perfect shape to effectively help the low back.
Finding 1: Same Efficacy as Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medicine
In a recent research study, SpiderTech’s pre-cut kinesiology tape was proven to ease shoulder pain just as effectively as OTC pain relief medicine. Cutaneous stimulation applied in the form of kinesiology tape has been shown to elicit a similar magnitude of pain reduction as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) when used to treat shoulder pain. Considering this finding, kinesiology tape can serve as a cost-effective alternative to OTC pain relievers.
The study included 100 participants who were divided into three groups: the taping group, the NSAID group, and an exercise-only group. The findings were that all three treatments had the same efficacy in participants. The main difference is that because kinesiology tape is an unintrusive, non-pharmaceutical product, it showed no risk of side effects.
Finding 2: Uniform Application
In the same study, researchers were able to achieve more standardized applications using pre-cut technology rather than needing to cut multiple pieces, which may have decreased uniform consistency and compliance in participants. Using the pre-cut Shoulder Spider, the results were more accurate as all participants were wearing identical continuous one-piece tape. Using regular roll tape, it would be challenging for every participant to apply the tape identically and would also impact the accuracy of the study’s results. Overall, pre-cut tapes have a higher rate of patient compliance when prescribed.
Finding 3: Consistency With The Numbered System
Another factor contributing to the consistency of the taping application is the use of the Pre-cuts are continuous strips of tape that are perforated and numbered. This numbering system was developed to make it as easy as possible for at-home users, doctors, and therapists to correctly apply the tape.
Following the numbered system for the application allows the user to easily apply kinesiology tape regardless of taping experience. Once all the numbered tabs have been applied to the skin, gently rub the tape to activate the adhesive and ensure the tape lasts on your skin as long as possible. To avoid mistakenly rolling up the corners of the tape when rubbing it, it’s best to start in the middle of the tape and rub outward towards the edges.
There are certain circumstances where standard kinesiology tape rolls can be sufficient to treat strains and soreness when applied correctly. However, one-piece pre-cut strips are much easier to apply and offer a more standardized, accurate application for better healing results. Uncut rolls allow you to create a custom tape job for a specific injury, but the person applying must follow proper techniques, leaving room for human error and less chance of full effectiveness.
Although both pre-cuts and standard rolls both offer the benefits of aiding in recovery and increasing performance, pre-cuts offer easier to use and longer-lasting applications to ensure maximum efficacy. Pre-cuts standardize the process to ensure that the tape is the correct size and shape to provide appropriate support and alignment, while rolls have no means of ensuring this.
Montu Khokhar is the CEO of Toronto-based SpiderTech, a leading manufacturer of pre-cut kinesiology tape and strapless & anti-fog face masks. Mr. Khokhar, like SpiderTech (a branch of NUCAP technologies), is constantly looking to achieve the impossible through innovation and engineering.