Why sportsmen are so fond of kinesiology tape?

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Athletes and sportsmen suffer from various kinds of muscle injuries and soreness that they must live with and keep performing. To allow them perform at their best they take help of kinesiology tape for hockey players that can quickly and effectively relieve pain and get them back on the field. The bright or flesh colored strips that that you can see on the legs, shoulders or other parts of the body of athletes and sportsmen are now essential to keep them on their feet and perform without experiencing any pain or discomfort. The tape when applied on the muscles provides instant pain relief that helps to improve the rage of movements and motions of the body. It is a sure solution for alleviating soreness which is why sportsmen depend on it heavily as they can perform at peak efficiencies.

What is kinesiology tape?

The elastic tape looks like another adhesive tape but has special properties of providing sensory input in an area while still allowing a full range of motion. It replaced the stiff medical tape that sportsmen used earlier, and the credit of discovery goes to a Japanese chiropractic doctor Kenzo Kase who created the tape in 1970s by mimicking the elasticity of human skin. But it took many more years before the tape went mainstream during the summer Olympics of 2008 and today it is ubiquitous in the sports world. 

The material makes the difference

Kinesiology tapes are different from traditional adhesive athletic tape used for medical purposes. The material of construction of the tape is cotton, spandex and adhesive instead of cotton only.  Another difference between the two types of tapes is that athletic tapes are good for provide support to the joints, but it restricts the movement.  On the other hand, kinesiology tape provides joint support while allowing users to maintain motion. This happens because the tape can stretch up to 40% of its original length without losing its elasticity and remain completely flexible so that it does not hinder movement.

How Kinesio tape works

When you apply kinesiology tape on the muscle it works by lifting the skin from the tissues below. The tape causes compression or decompression of the affected areas and acts on the nerve receptors under the skin as well as in the deep layers of muscles, fascia and other connective tissues that alters the pain signals that reach the brain.  The elasticity of the tape comes into play when providing pain relief. For example, those who undergo surgery for ACL experience weak quad. Using a tape on the quad with maximum tension it results in contraction that brings the muscle fibers together and offers strength to the muscles. 

The tape allows sportsmen to forget their pain during the time sportsmen wear it but there is not much evidence about its ability to improve muscle function and reduce swelling. However, a study showed that it improves muscle function marginally. But the most important thing is the relief it provides that make sportsmen more confident.

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