Kinesiology tape is a product manufactured by several companies, each with their own design of the tape. It is being used by some of the most celebrated and top performing athletes in the world, including Usain Bolt and Serena Williams. I’m most familiar with Rocktape brand kinesiology tape, so that’s what I’ll describe.
Kinesiology tape is designed to improve athletic performance. The tape gently pulls on the top layer of skin, allowing for increased blood flow to muscles by “lifting” the skin. This allows for improved muscle performance, delays muscle fatigue, and relieves inflammation. In addition to improving blood flow, kinesiology tape is intended to help you hold proper form. The tape is highly elastic, but returns to its original size readily. The constant, gentle stimulation of the surface of the skin increases the brain’s awareness of that area. This improves athletic form, helping a fatigued athlete to maintain consistency.
Kinesiology tape is non-invasive, simple, and effective. While it was designed for athletic competition, it is equally useful for everybody else suffering from chronic pain, stiffness, or recovering from hard work. To go for a hike, swim, or bike ride, I am always “rocktaped up”. I tape my leg and foot to support my ankle, arch, and calf. The difference is incredible, and the exercise is so much more beneficial because it helps with the pain and helps me maintain a good form. In addition, the constant stimulation of the tape gently tugging on skin is helpful for recovering nerve damage areas. According to the manufacturer, it can improve recovery times for sore or strained muscles.
It’s not a commitment. Interested? Try it out for a bit. Don’t be intimidated by the self-application. It’s easy. Sometimes you might need a hand applying to hard-to-reach places, like your back. Fortunately, the manufacturers offer helpful instructional videos on the proper way to apply the tape, so you don’t need to worry about figuring it out on your own.