Benefits of Kinesiology Taping, Part 2 – Microcirculatory Benefits

posted by Tape Expert

My last posting outlined the “big 4” categories of therapeutic benefits associated with kinesiology taping:
1. Psychological Benefits
2. Microcirculatory Benefits
3. Structural Benefis
4. Neurosensory Benefits

Today’s post will focus on the microcirculatory benefits that can be achieved through the use of kinesiology tape. This will provide details of how one can use kinesiology taping to reduce swelling, inflammation and bruising by enhancing the flow of fluids through the smallest vessels of the body.

swollen_ankle_2The Anatomy of Swelling & Inflammation
When part of the body sustains a traumatic injury, cells in the area burst and spill their contents into the extracellular space surrounding the injured tissues. This fluid is a major component of the swelling that accompanies an acute injury. When a large amount of this fluid collects in an enclosed area, it creates pressure on the blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and pain receptors. Severe swelling can actually reduce the circulation of both blood and lymphatic fluid to an injured area – the opposite of what it needs to recover and heal.

How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Inflammation?
When kinesiology tape is applied to an inflammed area using a microcirculatory application technique (see below), the lifting motion of the tape creates a space between the top layer of skin and the underlying tissues. This space creates a pressure gradient between this area and the surrounding tissues that encourages the flow of blood into the injured area as well as the removal of lymphatic fluid (swelling). The result? Swelling goes down, pain is relieved, and the healing process is accelerated!

How to Create a Microcirculatory Kinesiology Taping Applicationst_body_lymphatic_1
When applying kinesiology tape, the two factors that can be manipulated are the amount of stretch in the tape and the amount of stretch in the muscle. In the case of a microcirculatory application, BOTH THE MUSCLE AND THE TAPE ARE STRETCHED. Always begin by applying the anchor end of the tape with no stretch – this lessens the liklihood of skin irritation and helps the tape adhere better. Next, stretch the injured muscle as far as possible without causing discomfort. As the backing is removed from each section of tape, stretch the tape to approximately 50% of the available stretch and apply it directly over the lymphatic pathways of the injured area. Apply the tail anchor with no stretch.

lymphatic_vesselsBecause the lymphatic system consists of a mulitude of vessels, most microcirculatory or lymphatic applications are quite complex, in order to cover as many pathways as possible. If using kinesiology tape by the roll, the tape is usually cut into narrow strips or even in a basket weave pattern before applying. If using pre-cut SpiderTech Tape, the Lymphatic Spider is always selected. This convenient application is already cut into narrow strips, with step-by-step directions in the package.

Because kinesiology tape applications are typically worn for up to 5 days, this is an ideal modality for long-term treatment of either acute or chronic swelling. Clinical applications range from the treatment of acute athletic injuries to post-surgical swelling control and relief from the painful, dysfiguring swelling of lymphodema.

My next post will focus on the details of structural kinesiology taping applications.

kinesiology tape
Copyright © 2020 Athletic Tape Info Center All Rights Reserved       Entries (RSS) and Comments (RSS).