Race more, recover quicker with Kinesio Taping
Race season is rapidly approaching. Whether it’s your first 5K or 5th marathon, right now is the time to think about what races to register for this year. How far apart will you space those races? How quickly will it take for you to recover from one race to the next? A lot of factors play in to the recovery process, with Kinesio Tape (also known as K-Tape) being one of them. This is not your traditional athletic tape that restricts movement and blood flow. Kinesio Tape is very pliable and allows much more range of motion.
You may see athletes wearing this highly visible, colored tape during races for specific musculoskeletal support and for post race recovery. This tape facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin, increasing interstitial space allowing better blood flow, a reduction of inflammation and better muscle mobility. Kinesio Taping can also aide in reducing muscle tightness. It helps relax soft tissues while stimulating nerve fibers to control pain.
K-tape is most commonly used during the acute stage of injury and can be used along with other modes of therapy. To bring about change in affected tissues and facilitate the body’s natural healing process, k-tape is used in different ways to achieve desired results. Applied in a partially stretched state, the direction of pull acts as a communication system on muscle receptors. The tape is applied from the muscle origin towards its insertion point to work in the direction of the muscle fibers. Contact with the skin provides stimulus for neuromuscular re-education by creating awareness of the muscle group. The athlete feels the tape on his/her skin during activity, causing the underlying muscles to respond and reminding the body what it’s supposed to do. If the muscle begins to overstretch, the tape provides a cue for the muscle to back off and avoid further injury. Most of my patients notice relief almost immediately!
Kinesio Tape is designed to stay on for approximately 3-4 days. The adhesive is heat- sensitive, so the tape is rubbed to make sure it is properly adhered to your skin. After a couple hours of normal activity, the Kinesio Tape should be properly bonded to the treated area. As a result of this strong bond, you can exercise and shower with the tape on without any issues. However, it is not recommended to swim with the Kinesio Tape on due to the chemicals in pool water that can potentially deteriorate the adhesive and loosen the tape.
Patellar tracking problems? Iliotibial band syndrome? These are just a few of the common issues I see in runners. While Kinesio Tape is not a quick fix, it can certainly help support and rehabilitate the area. Other common conditions that Kinesio-Tape can help include: carpal tunnel syndrome, neck and back pain, achilles tendonitis, strain/sprains, whiplash, lymphedema, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff injuries, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and postural abnormalities.
Again, this is just one component of accelerating recovery. Having raced 5Ks up to 50ks, I’ve had my fair share of nagging injuries. Using a variety of different therapies, including Kinesio Taping, has allowed me to recover from my injuries faster and helped me get back on the trails more quickly.
Get on my schedule at Cooper Chiropractic for an assessment to see if Kinesio Taping can help you reach your race goals this year.
I look forward to meeting you!