Kinesio tape is a hypoallergenic, latex free, highly elastic form of sports tape. It is used to give support and stability to the muscles without restricting circulation or movement. Muscles are constantly contracting and extending within a normal range. However, when a muscle over-extends or over-contracts (such as with heavy lifting) it can become inflamed. Healthy muscles have natural spacing between the skin and the muscle allowing for the circulation of bodily fluids. When a muscle is inflamed, stiff, or swollen, the space between it and the skin lessens and the muscle becomes compressed. This pressure causes the person to experience pain. Normal sports taping of an affected joint or muscle supports the area, but also further compresses it causing a decrease in circulation.
Kinesio tape is unique in the way it both supports an affected area while also rehabilitating it. It is very light and comfortable on the skin causing no compression or alteration of normal circulatory flow. Kinesio tape has an elasticity of about 140% of its original length thus allowing full motion, but preventing over stretching of the muscles. Its water resistance allows it to be worn for 3-5 days while bathing normally.
Kinesio tape is used for a variety of conditions including plantar fasciitis, lower back pain, knee and shoulder pain, ankle sprains, and more.