What is a kinesiology tape? What are the functions it performs? Are these functions useful when it comes to the ankle? How does it help manage ankle injuries? Read on to find answers to these questions.

Kinesiology Tape

You’ve seen it, heard of it, and it’s everywhere! But do you really know what it is and what it does?

As a die-hard fan of gymnastics, a basketballer, a follower of volleyball games, or someone interested in any kind of sports, you have surely seen these tapes on players’ knees, elbows, and shoulders. 

Those often-brightly-colored strips of elastic tape are kinesiology tapes, strategically arranged in varying patterns on different body parts to stabilize a joint and reduce pain.

Features of Our Kinesiology Tape

  • Kinesiology tape was originally designed to be elastic for easy movement, and at Hampton Adams, we really considered this. The Hampton Adams Kinesiology Tape is incredibly flexible. When it comes to kinesiology tapes, cotton is about the best material you can get. Hampton Adams K-Tape is made of 100% cotton extract, which is a sure-fire way of guaranteeing its quality in terms of material. 
  • Before Dr. Kenzo Kase developed the first kinesiology tape, there was a type of tape available—medical tape. Why then did he develop another kind? One of the reasons was how the medical tape felt on the skin. It was so uncomfortable that it could not be kept on for long. This fact did not go over our heads at Hampton Adams. Our kinesiology tape has been designed to feel like the skin. Applying it feels like adding just a few extra layers of skin. Please note that this imitation is not so complete that you won’t feel anything. The tape is just noticeable enough to increase your sense of proprioception.
  • Another noticeable feature of our Hypoallergenic Kinesiology Tape is that it is made with medical-grade materials. This means there are few to no allergens in our tape, guaranteeing fewer chances of getting infected. You can now stop worrying about reacting to tape. 
  • Now, this special feature is an incredible property specific to our kinesiology tape—no sticky residue. If you are used to tapes from other brands, you probably did not think this was possible and have come to accept your fate with the goo left on your skin after every removal. Well, you no longer have to settle for less as you have found the perfect solution to this problem. We have used a special formula to make our tape so that it does not leave any sticky residue on your skin. You probably have avoided tape to prevent these sticky residues if you have delicate skin. We are glad to announce that you no longer have to.
  • The material of our tape and its water-resistant characteristic makes it super strong and durable. You can keep it on for three to five days. Of course, you are allowed to take a shower during this period.

Functions of Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tapes are used to relieve musculoskeletal pain. This is the main purpose for which they were designed. Are you wondering how an ordinary strip of pink tape can achieve this? It is through the process of decompression. Application of kinesiology tape to your skin causes a slight lift. This seemingly insignificant lift increases the space between the skin and everything beneath it—muscle, tissue, and bone. This will, in turn, reduce the pressure at that point, and this change transforms the whole thing. The signals that will now be sent to your brain by the receptors will not be pain signals. Pain receptors are sensory receptors, and they can be found on the skin, muscle, and other tissues. 

Furthermore, kinesiology tapes are used to treat injuries but often with other forms of physical therapy. Applying kinesiology tape alone can not treat an injury; it can only manage it. It carries out this management by reducing pain and inflammation. How does it reduce inflammation? Again, the slight lift is the reason. Swelling is caused by a fluid build-up, like lymph or blood beneath the skin. As you already know, applying Kinesio tape lifts the skin and increases the subcutaneous space; this allows fluids to move from one spot and flow properly through the lymphatic system.

Kinesio tape can also be used to prevent injuries through the stabilization process. Long-distance runners use it to improve endurance, boost movement, and stabilize joints.

Additionally, kinesiology tapes are used to support weak muscles and joints. Proper application of kinesiology tape can assist weak muscles to function better. Some conditions that can be managed with support from Kinesio tape include arthritis, carpal syndrome, and tendonitis. You should also note that providing support does not mean movement will be restricted.

Lastly, kinesiology tape can be used to correct bad posture by increasing your sense of proprioception. It increases your sense of awareness and makes you carry yourself better.

The Ankle

The ankle is a joint formed at the point where three bones—tibia, fibula, and talus—meet. These three bones are held together by ligaments; tendons and muscles are also attached to them. Therefore, ankle injuries may be related to the bone, ligament, tendon, muscle, or some combination of the four.

A fracture has to do with the breaking of a bone. You likely won’t miss this kind of injury as it comes with a lot of sudden piercing pain, swelling, and bruising. Your ankle will feel tender and look deformed. You also will find it incredibly hard to walk properly.

A sprain often mistaken for a fracture is a rupture of ligaments. It is characterized by the same symptoms as that of a fracture. However, rather than being tender, your ankle will be stiff. 

A strain involves damage to tendons and/or muscles that occurs when you stretch them too far or too much. Tendinitis refers to inflammation of a tendon, and it causes a lot of pain and swelling.

Tendinosis is a long-term condition that piles up over time. It is caused by seemingly microscopic tears that do not heal and accumulate as time goes on. Its symptoms include ankle weakness and sudden sharp pains outside the ankle.

A lot of ankle injuries occur due to sporting activities, but there are other causes. Here is a list of possible causes of ankle injuries:

  • Running on uneven terrain
  • Falling or tripping
  • Not landing properly after a jump
  • Accidentally rolling or twisting the ankle
  • Sudden impact
  • Wearing faulty footwear

The symptoms of most ankle injuries include pain. What is better to manage musculoskeletal pain than kinesiology tape? Through the process already explained above, kinesiology tape can help reduce musculoskeletal pain from ankle injuries. Putting two and two together, we can easily see that kinesiology tape effectively manages ankle pain.

For instance, kinesiology tape will be useful in the case of a fracture, where the symptoms are pain and swelling. Of course, you do not expect the tape to completely treat and heal the fracture. However, it can be used to speed up recovery and reduce pain. The tiny space it creates will reduce pain and allow fluid to disperse. When you combine it with other forms of therapy, you can ensure a quick and less painful recovery.

Application of Kinesiology Tape to The Ankle

There are various ways of applying tape to the ankle, and different people prefer one to the other. Let us take one of those techniques steps by step:

  • First of all, clean and dry your ankle. You may wash it with soap and water, dry it with a clean towel, or simply use wet wipes. The last thing you want is to tape different nameless microorganisms to your ankle for days. This can lead to infections. So, do not skip this step.
  • Place your ankle in a neutral, ninety-degree position, and get three strips of tape.
  • The first strip should be applied from the outside of your ankle. Start about two inches above your ankle and tape it downwards without stretching. When you reach the ankle, stretch the tape and keep stretching until you tape the heel and come out at the other side. From the end of the heel, tape towards the inside of your ankle without stretch.
  • The next strip of tape should be applied to cross the first. Start from the inner part of your foot, stretch as you get to the heel, and stop when you get to the outer part of your foot. This last part, the one at the outer edge, should be applied without stretch.
  • The last strip of tape should be applied like the second to ensure that it stays in place. Rub the tape from the center towards the ends to improve adherence.

Now that you know all about kinesiology tapes and their uses, you can check out our page at Hampton Adams for any kinesiology tape of your choice.