How Does Kinesiology Tape Reduce Swelling?
How does Kinesiology Taping reduce Swelling and Bruising?
The unique properties of kinesiology tape combined with kinesiology taping techniques allow it to affect the body in ways that cannot be duplicated by any other form of sports tape.
Following is a simplified explanation of the major mechanisms of action:
When a muscle or joint is overused or injured, that area becomes inflamed or swollen. This swelling is composed of blood (internal bleeding from the injury) and other fluids. The excess fluid should be removed by the lymphatic vessels in the area, but if the inflammation is great enough, the lymphatic vessels get compressed and can’t do their job. This can lead to an ongoing cycle of inflammation and pain, which limits performance and slows the healing process.
When kinesiology tape is applied to the skin over an inflamed area, the stretch in the tape gently lifts the skin, creating a space between the skin and the tissues below. This creates an area of negative pressure, allowing both blood vessels and lymphatic vessels to dilate (open), increasing the circulation of both fluids.
Improved blood flow enhances delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the injured tissues, accelerating the healing process. When lymphatic vessels dilate, the fluid that has collected in the injured area can drain away. This reduces swelling, which relieves pressure on the pain receptors providing immediate pain relief.
But Wait … there’s more!
Additional mechanisms that also come into play involve an intricate interplay between the body’s sensory system, neurological system and muscular system.
The ongoing, low level sensory stimulation from the tape on the skin activates pain gating mechanisms that assist in the relief of chronic pain.
They also allow restoration of normal muscle activation, restoring strength and mobility in muscles that may have been inhibited by pain or injury.