You may have seen elite sports players wearing it. You may have noticed the bright coloured tape on runners at the local park. But have you ever wondered, “What is that taping used for?”
Myofascial Functional Taping, also known as kinesiology taping, is a recently developed type of tape. The tape is breathable, flexible, and stretchable. It should be worn for at least 3 days for best results and can get wet.
Functional taping can interfere with pain signals directed to the brain. Ever whack your shin and rub it, and suddenly realise you feel better? When signals arriving in the brain are altered, the sensation of pain is altered. When functional tape is properly applied, many people think their injury is fixed. Taping helps to change how your body interprets pain, turning down the pain ‘volume’ that your body hears.
When functional taping is applied to the skin, it has a microscopic lifting effect underneath the skin and between the many layers. This allows the by-products created by inflammation to be removed faster. This assists the flow of the lymphatic system, which is the key system used to move fluid through the body.
Research has shown that functional taping on skin can reduce muscle fatigue. In rehabilitation, this is important for painful body parts, and for surrounding areas as they help to pick up the slack for muscles not working well.
When you are injured, fatigued, sick or inflamed, the symphony of muscle action that normally takes place often falls out of tune. This can happen all over the body. Research has shown that people who sprain their ankle tend to have altered activity of their hip muscle. Functional taping helps bring dormant muscle back to life and help calm overactive muscles. It helps your body co-ordinate movement as if it were not hurt, allowing it to heal properly.
Unlike conventional taping, which restricts movement, functional taping allows full movement. Through elastic properties and quick recoil, functional taping can help distribute forces to nearby areas through the fascia, ligaments, and even bones.