First, the taping method uses the principles of Gate Control Theory to provide pain relief. It does this by temporarily “closing the ‘gate’ on pain receptors” in much the same way that we do when we rub an injured body part after bumping it. Just as rubbing the site of the injury interrupts the perception of pain, providing temporary pain relief, applying Kinesio Tape to the injured area interrupts the pain message, preventing it from reaching the brain. Using Gate Control Theory in designing Kinesio Tape effectively works with the natural mechanism the body uses to regulate pain.
A second way that Kinesio Tape works scientifically is by providing a “light modality” that facilitates healing without impeding body movement or interfering with range of motion. Unlike regular athletic tapes, which bind the body parts being taped and are specifically intended to restrict movement during healing, Kinesio Tape is designed to allow natural body movements while its lightweight application works to help facilitate the body’s natural healing process.
Because painful, inflamed muscles lack space, when space is created by lifting the skin microscopically, both movement and circulation are improved. As the Kinesio Taping Association International website explains, on its Kinesio Taping Method, “This lifting (effect) forms convolutions in the skin thus increasing interstitial space and allowing for a decrease in inflammation of the affected areas.” According to the page cited above, the combined increase in movement and circulation provide yet another benefit: the cooling of overheated muscles, providing still further relief. Cryotherapy is often used in conjunction with Kinesio Tape applications to further enhance this cooling and inflammation-reducing process.
By beginning with two basic scientifically designed taping techniques, the Kinesio Taping Method balances muscles and restores lost function. Through the first technique (taping “from insertion to origin”), Kinesio Tape applications are able to address acute injuries and trauma caused by overuse and promote rehabilitation. The second technique (taping “from origin to insertion”) allows Kinesio Tape to treat chronic muscle conditions and increase muscle function when needed.
To enhance the two basic taping techniques, other appropriate procedures are used to effectively address various specific issues requiring correctional intervention. A list of these issues is posted at the above link.
Both Kinesio Tape and the Kinesio Taping Method – which includes the two basic taping techniques mentioned above and the procedures that target specific conditions – have been scientifically developed to create the most ideal environment to facilitate healing, structural correction, restored function, and complete rehabilitation of the affected body part as quickly and painlessly as possible.
The concept behind Kinesio Tape may seem simple enough, yet the Kinesio Taping method is based on an intricate set of scientific principles that underlie the tape’s design. These principles assure the effectiveness of Kinesio Tape in several key areas.