KT Tape: Benefits, Uses and How It Works
KT tape lifts the skin off of the pain receptors. This process can either cause compression or decompression in the affected area, alleviating pain or discomfort. For athletes with muscles with knots that cause pain, KT tape can lift the skin off of that knot, which can remove the pain.
Injuries happen. If you run long enough, it is inevitable that ache, pain, or injury will pop up.
Lucky for the running community, there are many different sports medicine products out on the market to help keep you in the game. KT tape, short for kinesiology tape, is an amazing sports tape.
What is KT Tape?
Wondering what, exactly, KT tape is?
Kinesiology tape, or Kinesio tape, is made of a very soft, breathable, and flexible elastic material sticky on one side.
This allows you to place the tape in the exact location where it will do the most good.
Does Kinesiology Tape Work?
KT tape sticks to your body with a special adhesive that is meant to be waterproof and sweatproof but will not irritate your skin. You apply it to your skin for pain relief.
The elastic tape is pliable enough to give your body the ability to have a full range of motion while still applying the necessary pressure to the afflicted area.
This therapeutic tape can be used on any soft tissue injury to give it support without impeding your muscle’s movement.
If you have ever used traditional athletic tape, you know that it does not have much “give” to it. KT tape is intentionally made quite differently so that your movement is not hindered.
9 Things KT Tape Can Help With
KT tape, what does it do?
It can help with a lot of different athletic problems.
- Knee pain
- Shin splints
- Achilles tendon pain
- Plantar fasciitis/ligament issues
- Ankle instability/sprains
- Tennis elbow
- Hamstring strain
- Quad strain
- Back pain
Why is KT Tape So Effective?
The elasticity of KT tape is what really enables it to work so well. Whereas normal athletic tape cannot stretch and move with your body, KT tape does. KT tape improves circulation and supports muscles while giving the body time to heal.
Remember that KT tape is not a miracle cure.
Be certain that you are not trying to use it for injuries that require the medical attention of physical therapists or time off.
If the KT tape gives you some relief, but you are still in pain, ask yourself if you should see a doctor rather than continue with your fitness regimen, and be honest about the answer to that question.
How Long Should You Leave KT Tape On?
If a trainer or doctor applies KT tape to your body, you can leave it on for 3-4 days. Tape application should withstand showering, bathing, or even swimming.
After that initial few days, you may find that you don’t need to wear it during normal daily activities.
Some athletes find that wearing the tape during workouts is enough to help keep them going.
When Not To Use KT Tape
- You should never use KT tape on open wounds or surgical incision sites.
- If you have allergies to adhesive, be cautious when using KT tape (or any other type of tape).
- You should also steer clear of KT tape if you have any signs of infection or if you have cancer.
- KT tape can also be problematic if you try to use it despite severe pain. Just remember always to be smart with injuries.
If you have an injury or pain while working out that you think KT tape might help, give it a whirl.
Just be smart and listen to your body.
If the pain is severe or intense, stop what you’re doing and seek physical therapy. The last thing you want to do is to make an injury worse.
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