Ep. #1133: What Does Kinesiology Tape Do and Does It Really Work?



Good day, hiya, and welcome to a different episode of Muscle for Life. I’m your host, Mike Matthews. Thanks for becoming a member of me at present for a comparatively brief however informative exploration of kinesiology tape. What’s it? What’s it good for? What’s it not good for? And by the way in which, simply so what the phrase means, kinesiology is just the scientific examine of physique motion, of the mechanics of how the physique strikes.

And the explanation I needed to document this episode is, I haven’t spoken about this in any respect. I believe I’ve written about it over at legionathletics.com over on the weblog, however I’ve not spoken about it. And it’s one thing that I do get requested about, particularly over the past couple of years or so, as a result of as KT Tape, because it’s typically referred to as, has gained traction in sports activities drugs.

In bodily remedy, it has additionally turn out to be extra prevalent and extra standard amongst influencers, notably mobility and adaptability influencers, and influencers who, I assume you can say, may name themselves train hackers, who promote uncommon, unique varieties of workout routines and train routines as efficient, or simpler than conventional train, and so forth.

And so, as a consequence of all that, we are actually seeing an increasing number of on a regular basis health folks taping themselves up earlier than they work out, or typically after they work out, typically on their lively restoration days, and so forth. And thus, I believed it may be useful to document a fast episode on KT Tape, and to undergo the analysis on its purported advantages, so you’ll be able to perceive whether or not it is best to take into account mummy wrapping your self.

Okay, so let’s begin with a short definition of phrases right here. What’s kinesiology tape? It’s additionally referred to as Kinesio tape or KT tape. And it’s merely a robust and stretchy tape, an adhesive tape you could keep on with your physique or keep on with different issues. And it’s used sometimes in sports activities drugs. It’s utilized in bodily remedy.

It’s normally latex free. It’s normally water-resistant. It’s typically made out of cotton and Nylon and in contrast to conventional athletic tapes that are typically thick and restrictive, KT tape is uniquely versatile and so that permits limbs which can be taped up or permits your joints to maneuver by way of a full vary of movement whereas experiencing elevated ranges of stress.

Produced by the taping. Now, what’s that alleged to do precisely? Why may that be good? Properly, the commonest principle is that while you stretch the tape and you then apply it to your physique, it exerts a suction like power that lifts the pores and skin, and it creates area between your pores and skin and the tissues beneath.

And proponents of that principle will say that it produces three advantages. One, it might probably assist create area in your joints. So making use of the tape to the joints might enhance the area in that joint, which then can forestall bones and tendons and different mushy tissues from rubbing collectively and inflicting ache. One other purported profit is that KT taping can enhance circulation and lymphatic drainage.

And by doing these issues, In flip, you’ll be able to expertise diminished swelling and diminished fluid buildup within the taped areas of your physique. And at last, the third profit, uh, no less than theoretical advantage of KT tape is that it might probably alter ache alerts. And the way this may increasingly work is by assuaging the compression that’s attributable to swelling, as a result of swelling compresses receptors in your pores and skin and that then sends alerts to your mind which can be interpreted as ache.

And for those who tape some space of your physique, it’s lifting the pores and skin away from the tissues beneath, which may relieve the compression and thereby relieve the ache. And in order that’s mainly how KT tape is meant. to work. However what does the scientific analysis should say? Properly, let’s begin with muscle and joint stability.

Frequent claims made to frequent advertising and marketing claims made to promote KT tape. And the thought right here is that the tape is sturdy. It’s stretchy. You set it in your physique in sure methods and that may then help muscle tissues which can be fatigued. It may well help unstable joints, in order that they transfer extra effectively and successfully. And there’s some benefit right here.

For example, in a single examine, researchers discovered that the elasticity of kinesiology tape acted like a rubber band when utilized to runners’ thighs, serving to them preserve their stride size when fatigued. You may expertise an identical impact. with knee sleeves while you’re squatting, which I typically like to make use of not for this rebound impact, which has been proven in analysis, by the way in which, these sleeves do seem to barely enhance squat efficiency.

And one of many causes might be due to the rebound impact that you simply expertise as you’re popping out of the opening, however that’s not. essentially why I put on them. I put on them simply because my knees really feel extra snug all through my exercise once I’m carrying the sleeves. Possibly there’s just a little little bit of a placebo impact there, however there is also heat.

So the knee sleeves preserve your joints, preserve your knees heat, and that feels higher while you’re squatting heavy specifically than in case your knees are sort of cooling off in between units. And the sleeves additionally do make my knees simply really feel Extra secure. They really feel rock strong once I’m squatting, particularly once I’m squatting heavy.

And that’s to not say that knee sleeves are important or that squatting heavy with out knee sleeves is harmful and even non optimum. I identical to how my knees really feel greatest. when I’m carrying knee sleeves. So I’ll normally put on knee sleeves when I’m coaching my decrease physique. However anyway, coming again to KT tape, the thought right here is analogous in that you’ve got this elastic tape that has some vitality that it absorbs when you’re transferring your limbs by way of full ranges of movement.

And that Then can help the exercise that you simply’re doing. On this case, it’s operating, however you can have comparable results with different varieties of workout routines. And if we take a look at different research on the matter, we see that Kinesio tape can assist help injured joints, serving to folks transfer their injured joints extra freely.

And that may then assist them recuperate sooner as a result of, after all, the primary key to recovering from an harm. is motion is train. It’s not resting and icing and immobilizing and simply ready for the harm to magically disappear. That typically doesn’t work. Typically you do want to use some ice and a few relaxation and a few immobilization, however you wish to get again to exercise as quickly as you’ll be able to.

Now, after all, you don’t wish to get again to actions which can be going to irritate the harm or reactivate the harm. So it’s a must to go about it. However, typically talking, motion is what helps heal, not immobilization. And so then, KT Tape seems to be useful on this regard as a result of it might probably show you how to transfer the injured.

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Okay, subsequent on my record is proprioception, which is a ten phrase that merely means your physique’s capacity to sense its place and its actions with out counting on sight. And that is notably beneficial to athletes as a result of, after all, while you’re taking part in sports activities, for those who perceive intuitively the place your physique is in area and the way it’s transferring, that may show you how to play the game higher.

It may well show you how to forestall harm. accidents and a few scientists imagine that the strain and the stretching results of KT tape activate receptors in your pores and skin that then relay motion and place information to the mind and that that may heighten proprioception and thereby enhance efficiency and scale back harm danger.

So mainly, the thought right here is that by taping your physique in sure locations and in sure methods, you’re priming your nervous system to ship this proprioception associated information extra successfully to the mind. And that then may end up in heightened proprioception advantages associated to that. Now, if we take a look at analysis on this, we see combined outcomes.

There’s some proof that means that it does certainly enhance proprioception, after which there’s proof that it doesn’t. So it’s laborious to say, as a result of the load of the proof is pretty balanced, nonetheless, there’s a sign right here. It does seem to probably enhance proception in some folks, in some circumstances, and so if that’s of any use to you, then it might work.

And it might not, however it’s not going to harm. And the claims that it might probably, that KT Tape can enhance proprioception aren’t wholly unfounded. And I discussed earlier the purported mechanism whereby it might probably do that, which is pulling the pores and skin away from the tissues beneath, which then can relieve compression, which may ship alerts to the mind which can be interpreted as ache.

And if we take a look at analysis on this principle. It’s additionally combined. It’s conflicting. Some research present that KT tape does seem to have a constructive impact on ache and others present that it gives no benefits. Nonetheless, there’s no analysis to counsel that it has any destructive results when it comes to ache. It’s not going to make ache worse.

It seems to have the ability to both make ache higher to mitigate ache or haven’t any impact by any means. Now, one doable rationalization for this contradiction within the analysis is that KT tape could possibly relieve ache in some muscle tissues and joints, however not others. So, for instance, research present that KT tape can alleviate ache attributable to neck, entice, and knee accidents or delayed onset muscle soreness, DOMS, publish exercise muscle soreness.

Nonetheless, its effectiveness for lowering ache is much less constant. for decrease again issues. And so then in case you are coping with ache involving your neck, involving your higher again, involving your knees, probably your elbows and different joints, or in case you are perhaps an athlete and it’s a must to do a number of coaching, a lot in order that DOMS is, is only a downside you’re all the time coping with.

Possibly it’s a must to do two days for an prolonged time period. Or perhaps it’s a must to do a good quantity of intense weightlifting and intense follow on your sport. Once more, you’re experiencing moderately extreme quantities of muscle soreness. Then KT taping could possibly assist. All proper, subsequent is swelling, which is expounded to ache for causes I’ve already defined, however I needed to make a separate notice of it as a result of quite a few research have checked out swelling specifically and nearly all of the analysis reveals that KT tape does look like useful on this regard, that it does seem to have the ability to There’s a number of stuff that you are able to do to scale back swelling and in order that helps clarify why it additionally seems to have the ability to assist alleviate ache.

So for those who’re coping with swelling of areas of your physique, perhaps it’s not a lot ache, however it’s swelling, KT Tape ought to be capable of assist. Now, let’s discuss power, which is one other one of many massive sizzling advertising and marketing buttons used to promote KT tape. There’s a principle that by taping your physique, you’ll be able to pull on the fascia, which is the skinny casing of connective tissue that’s surrounding the muscle tissues in your physique.

And for those who try this, you’ll be able to enhance your physique’s capacity to contract the muscle beneath. And that, after all, then will. enhance your power will enhance your muscular efficiency. And in order that’s a principle that some scientists imagine. Nonetheless, the load of the proof doesn’t help it, sadly, no less than it at the moment doesn’t.

So for those who take a look at analysis achieved on KT tape with folks with muscle fatigue and continual musculoskeletal illnesses, we see that there’s some proof of efficacy. There’s some proof. that it might probably enhance power in these folks, however there are different research that present that it doesn’t enhance power in these folks.

And extra importantly, if we take a look at the analysis that has been achieved with people who find themselves wholesome, who don’t have any musculoskeletal issues, we see that KT tape doesn’t seem to enhance power. And so. You probably have wholesome muscle tissues, it’s virtually definitely not going that will help you bench, squat, or deadlift extra weight.

Now, what about flexibility? Can KT tape show you how to enhance your flexibility? Properly, research which were achieved on folks with sports activities accidents or circumstances like osteoarthritis, cerebral palsy, whiplash, and shoulder ache sometimes have proven that taping can promote flexibility. It may well show you how to transfer these affected.

joints and muscle tissues by way of longer ranges of movement. As I discussed earlier. Now, the way it achieves that is unclear, however consultants have proposed two theories. One is by enhancing blood movement to the affected areas, which may pace up restoration. And two is by enhancing proprioception, which may scale back the concern of transferring an injured joint or muscle.

And it additionally can assist your mind will let you transfer the injured joint or muscle. Which, by the way in which, is what is basically taking place when you’re enhancing your physique’s flexibility. You’re really coaching your mind to will let you transfer your limbs by way of these fuller ranges of movement. Anyway, coming again to flexibility, sadly, virtually all the analysis that has been achieved on KT Tape and adaptability has been achieved with individuals who have very extreme well being points, not wholesome folks.

And so, in case you are a wholesome individual with a nicely functioning physique, it’s unclear Whether or not KT Tape can enhance flexibility, it might, it might not. It’s not going to harm although. So if that’s a purpose so that you can take into account KT Tape, if that may be a profit that you’re after, strive it out and see the way it goes. Now what about athletic efficiency?

Can KT Tape alone make you higher at your sport? Can it show you how to carry out higher at some sporting exercise? Individuals who Cell KT tape typically say sure, as a result of it’s going to enhance your physique consciousness and it’s going to help your joints and muscle tissues. And whereas, as we have now mentioned, there’s proof to help a few of these claims individually, a analysis assessment carried out by scientists on the College of Mississippi Medical Middle discovered no compelling proof that kinesiology tape enhances sports activities Efficiency and whereas the analysis obtainable to the scientists on this level for them to assessment is proscribed and perhaps the subject may gain advantage from extra analysis on extra particular nuanced questions on how KT tape could possibly enhance very particular features of athletic efficiency or particular features beneath particular circumstances.

The load of the proof that we have now says in all probability not going to assist in any significant manner. And this is a crucial instance of understanding that simply because there’s proof to help the person parts of a principle, that doesn’t imply that the speculation is true. That doesn’t imply that the proof helps the speculation.

And so on this case, whereas there’s analysis to point out that KT tape can help the muscle tissues, can help the joints, can improve proprioception, and whereas it’s cheap to theorize that these issues might enhance athletic efficiency, that’s nonetheless only a principle till confirmed. And up to now, the proof means that it’s an incorrect principle.

Okay, lastly, I wish to touch upon harm prevention. That is standard with athletes specifically who’re keen to strive absolutely anything to scale back the chance of harm, which is comprehensible. And whereas once more, the speculation of how KT tape could possibly scale back the chance of harm is believable, supporting muscle tissues, supporting joints, enhancing proprioception.

As soon as once more, a scientific assessment of analysis by way of that lens means that it doesn’t. Particularly, a meta-analysis that was revealed within the journal Sports activities Drugs discovered that kinesiology tape is ineffective at stopping accidents. Now, regardless of that, some consultants do preserve that KT tape does seem to scale back the chance of harm in some folks, in some instances, and that could be true, however it seems to be typically ineffective on this regard, and in order that’s essential to grasp.

If you’re going to use KT tape, uh, in hopes of lowering the chance of harm, uh, it might be a mistake to suppose that you’re much less prone to be injured as a result of you have got tape in your physique after which due to that, be extra inclined to do extra excessive issues in your coaching. Issues that can Increase the chance of harm much more than any doable mitigating impact that’s supplied by the KT tape.

And I’ve seen that mistake many instances through the years with weightlifting belts specifically. I’ve seen many, many individuals, normally guys, carrying a weightlifting belt, considering that merely carrying the weightlifting belt goes to significantly scale back the chance of harm. After which Squatting and deadlifting, typically overhead urgent, however normally squatting and deadlifting manner an excessive amount of weight, far more weight than they’ll correctly deal with, which after all dramatically will increase the chance of harm, no matter whether or not you’re carrying a belt or not.

In reality, analysis reveals that even when it’s used correctly, a weightlifting belt doesn’t scale back the chance of harm practically as a lot as improved efficiency. That’s primarily what it’s doing when it’s used correctly. It may well enhance your efficiency, notably on the squat, on the deadlift, on the overhead press, however it isn’t going to scale back your danger of harm.

You scale back your danger of harm by utilizing correct type and applicable hundreds. And if you wish to study extra about that specifically, weightlifting belts, how they work, the way to use them correctly, when to make use of them, when to not use them, head over to legionathletics.com, seek for weightlifting belt, two phrases, and also you’ll discover an article that I wrote on it.

Okay, so coming again to KT Tape, we do see that it It has some utility in case you are coaching so much and you’re coping with a number of muscle soreness, a number of muscle fatigue. In case you are injured and also you wish to enhance the soundness of your joints, if you wish to improve proprioception, perhaps since you are coaching for a sport and usually talking higher proprioception is healthier for sports activities than worse proprioception, particularly when you’re studying the.

Sophisticated actions concerned in lots of sports activities, for those who’re coping with ache once more, notably ache that’s attributable to your neck or your higher again muscle tissues or ache in your knees, for those who’re coping with swelling, if you wish to enhance flexibility, though, as we keep in mind, that one is unsure, however doable, these are all legitimate Causes to no less than strive KT taping as a result of it’s straightforward to do it’s cheap and it’s not going to harm The worst case situation is it simply doesn’t do something, however it’s not going to harm now as for the way to do it I might discuss that however Seeing it’s going to show you how to much more.

So head over to YouTube and take a look at the channel KT Tape movies. That’s an important useful resource for studying the way to KT Tape all the varied components of your physique for numerous causes. In order that they have movies by muscle group. They’ve movies by areas of the physique. So perhaps the highest of your foot, for instance, they’ve movies for joints.

So perhaps your hip or your SI joint or your thumb joint. In addition they have movies for sure circumstances like tennis elbow. Nice useful resource. Once more, KT Tape movies. And I’m not being paid by them to say that. I’ve by no means even spoken to them. I identical to their movies. Properly, I hope you favored this episode. I hope you discovered it useful.

And for those who did subscribe to the present as a result of it makes positive that you simply don’t miss new episodes and it additionally helps me. as a result of it will increase the rankings of the present just a little bit which after all then makes it just a little bit extra simply discovered by different individuals who might prefer it simply as a lot as you and for those who didn’t like one thing about this episode or concerning the present typically or when you’ve got Uh, concepts or ideas or simply suggestions to share, shoot me an e mail, [email protected] muscle F O R life.com and let me know what I might do higher or simply, uh, what your ideas are about perhaps what you’d wish to see me do sooner or later. I learn all the pieces myself. I’m all the time searching for new concepts and constructive suggestions. So thanks once more for listening to this episode and I hope to listen to from you quickly.


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