What is Kinesiology Tape?

  • 19 February 2014
  • Laura Dutton

Kinesiology taping (k taping) is based on Myofascial balance that can release fascia and normalise fascia and muscle tension, enhance circulation, improve muscle function and range of motion and reduce pain significantly often in just one session. 

- Note: Fascia is a layer of fibrous tissue throughout the body surrounding all of the muscles, groups pf muscles, blood vessels, and nerves, binding some structures together, while permitting others to slide smoothly over each other. It has more collagen and is less elastic than muscle tissue.
- Note: Myofascial release is the release of this fibrous tissue restoring normal fascial tension, flexibility and balance.

K taping can be applied in different ways to serve different purposes. It is always best to be assessed by a physiotherapist first before the application of k tape. The techniques include the MAC technique, MRT technique, and MRT centre technique.  

The MAC (myo activity technique) technique is used to activate and rehabilitate weak and inefficient muscles. It is applied with no tension but applied over a body part that is in a stretched position. This creates convolutions in the tape and activates the muscle and skin mechanoreceptors. As the muscle contracts the tape can support the muscle . This technique can help with activating and rehabilitating weak inefficient  muscle groups in order to help with performance in sport. Muscle power can be increased by up to 20%.

K taping can also be applied by the MRT (Myofascial release technique) which can help to reposition fascia and structurally change fascia, and correct fascia course. This is applied with the body part in a stretched position and the base of the tape with tension. The tails of the tape can be applied with tension or no tension depending on certain factors. The result of Myofascial taping can shift fascia, approximate fascia and bring about Myofascial release as can certain soft tissue Myofascial release techniques.  It can also improve length in tissues that are tight and offload tissues that are painful and thus improve pain and increase range of motion. This process is used when there is too much tension on the muscle and fascia like a strain, spasm, short and tight muscles and pain. 

The Myofascial release centre technique is a method of taping that applies tension to the middle section of the that is placed over a certain body part particularly ligaments to act as a supportive role offloading tension through an injured area. This effect can also create a lifting of fascia which can help circulation and lymph flow and release pressure on the nociceptors (pain receptors). 

K taping is  an elastic, self adhesive and air permeable, water resistant tape with elasticity of 130% of its original length. It's hypo-allergic. It can be worn for up to a week.

Always see a physiotherapist for an assessment and appropriate method of taping prior to use. 

Laura Dutton Bsc(hons) MCSP HCPC MAACP

About Laura Dutton

Laura Dutton Physiotherapist

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