What Does KT Tape Actually Do?

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What on the planet is KT tape?

Maybe your running buddy confirmed up carrying it. Or you see it on somebody on the fitness center.

Or you’ve been curious since Olympian Kerri Walsh Jennings confirmed as much as a volleyball match with vivid blue tape on her shoulder.

Those strips aren’t for aesthetics.

KT Tape (or “kinesiology tape”) is a bodily remedy instrument.

KT Tape is only one title model of those colourful, sweat-proof adhesives. Also referred to as kinesio tape, “it’s like tissue versus Kleenex,” Theresa Marko, P.T., D.P.T., M.S., a bodily therapist.

Fans declare it supplies help and relieves ache, however is it truly the key to the way to work out with a knee harm?

Here’s what specialists say.

What Is KT Tape?

“KT Tape is an elastic adhesive tape commonly used to treat musculoskeletal dysfunction,” explains Leada Malek, D.P.T., C.S.C.S., a bodily therapist and board-certified sports activities specialist.

“It is typically stretched a targeted amount and then laid onto an area of musculoskeletal dysfunction,” so that you’ll see it running “along a muscle and anchoring near a joint,” she explains.

Marko says that the technical approach to make use of KT tape is to use it with the intention of “turning on” or “turning off” muscle mass, to activate them or to encourage your body to depend on different muscle mass as an alternative.

How tightly the tape is stretched impacts how a lot rigidity is placed on a focused muscle, usually talking.

While KT tape is used to assist athletes, it’s not the identical factor as athletic tape.

Unlike different tapes you may even see in a bodily remedy setting, kinesio tape has extra stretch to assist you to transfer by means of a variety of movement.

How Does KT Tape Work?

Woman apply KT tape to athlete's shoulder

Theoretically, KT tape is utilized to the pores and skin straight over the focused muscle group, utilizing roughly rigidity.

More rigidity prompts your muscle mass to contract, basically “turning them on.”

The bodily therapist making use of the tape is aware of whether or not they’re attempting to excite or loosen up a muscle.

They select a goal quantity of stretch for the tape, primarily based on that purpose and correct anchor factors in your body.

Marko says she and different professionals additionally use it for different functions, like to assist stabilize joints typically.

Typically athletic tape or strapping tape could be used, she explains, however kinesiology tape’s stretch permits extra freedom of motion, which will be higher for some athletes.

But does KT tape work? There’s some debate.

Yes, some research help its use, however Malek notes that different research have proven comparable results from a placebo tape.

Even the place now we have proof that KT tape helps ultimately, researchers nonetheless aren’t positive how.

4 KT Tape Benefits

Cropped shot of runner's legs with KT Tape

There are some limitations to KT tape.

That’s why, says Malek, it’s “best used in conjunction with another treatment like physical therapy and not alone if it is used in treating painful conditions like knee and shoulder pain.”

1. May assist increase strength

It’s not truly attainable to “turn off” a muscle, however we will excite them or “turn on” a muscle.

Malek explains that research present that KT tape can encourage a contraction (a.ok.a., “turning on” a muscle), “but the method of how is still unknown and the evidence is weak.”

2. May assist your body flush extra fluid

Edema occurs when blood vessels in your body leak fluid. This fluid accumulates, which causes swelling.

Those who are suffering from post-workout puffiness might discover that KT tape decreases it — even greater than lymphatic therapeutic massage, one research discovered.

Cropped shot of runner with KT tape on knee

3. May briefly scale back ache

“Individual research per condition is limited, Malek explains, but “KT tape with exercise has been shown to help treat plantar fasciitis,” a situation characterised by stabbing ache within the heel.

And one research discovered that it successfully relieved ache and elevated vary of movement in folks with arthritis of their knees.

Pro tip: These are the finest workouts for unhealthy knees.

4. May improve consciousness of your body

Some researchers name proprioception our “sixth sense” — it’s only a fancy time period for being conscious of the place your body is and the way it’s transferring.

Some research have discovered that kinesio tape can improve this sense.

Malek explains that the “body perceiving the feedback of the tape with movement” could also be why KT tape is ready to assist some folks with painful actions or accidents.

More consciousness might imply you’re much less prone to attempt actions that trigger ache.

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