Kinesiology tape, also known as KT tape or Elastic Therapeutic Tape, is a type of adhesive tape that is used to support and stabilize muscles and joints, promote healing, and reduce pain and inflammation. The tape is made of a stretchy cotton material with a hypoallergenic adhesive on one side.
Kinesiology tape is designed to mimic the elasticity of human skin and can stretch up to 140% of its original length. This allows it to provide support and compression without restricting movement, allowing for a full range of motion.
Kinesiology tape is commonly used by athletes and physical therapists to treat a variety of conditions, including muscle strains, sprains, and tendonitis. It is believed that the tape works by lifting the skin and underlying tissues, which helps to increase blood flow and lymphatic drainage, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain.
Kinesiology tape is available in a variety of colors and patterns, and can be applied in different ways depending on the area of the body being treated and the desired effect. It is important to properly apply and remove kinesiology tape to avoid skin irritation or damage, and to consult with a healthcare provider before using it as part of a treatment plan.
Clean the Skin: Wash and dry the skin around your ankle to remove any dirt, oil or lotion. This will help the tape stick better and last longer.
Prepare the Tape: Cut a strip of kinesiology tape that is long enough to wrap around your ankle. You can cut the tape in half lengthwise if you want a thinner strip.
Apply Anchor: Start by applying the anchor end of the tape to the top of your foot, just above your ankle bone. The anchor should be applied with no stretch.
Apply Support: Next, apply the support end of the tape around your ankle in a figure-eight pattern. This should be done with 50% stretch, meaning the tape should be stretched to half its original length. Be sure to wrap the tape snugly, but not too tight.
Apply Additional Strips: Depending on the type of ankle injury you have, you may need to apply additional strips of tape for added support. For example, if you have a sprained ankle, you may want to add a strip of kinesiology tape from the top of your foot to the bottom of your ankle.
Smooth Out the Tape: Once you've applied all the strips of tape, use your fingers to smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles in the tape. This will help the tape adhere better to your skin.
Test the Fit: Test the fit of the tape by moving your ankle around. The tape should feel snug, but not too tight. If the tape is too tight, you may need to reapply it.
Wear the Tape: The kinesiology tape should stay in place for several days, even if you shower or swim. However, if the tape starts to peel off or feel uncomfortable, you should remove it and reapply it.
Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before using kinesiology tape or any other treatment for your ankle injury.
How to Remove Kinesio Tape
Find an Edge: Locate one edge of the tape and gently lift it up.
Use Water: Wet the lifted edge of the tape with warm water. This will help loosen the adhesive and make the tape easier to remove.
Slowly Peel: Slowly peel the tape off your skin, pulling it back at a 180-degree angle from your skin. Be sure to pull the tape back slowly and gently, so as not to irritate your skin or cause any discomfort.
Repeat as Needed: If the tape is still sticking to your skin, wet it again with warm water and try peeling it off again. You may need to repeat this process several times until all of the tape is removed.
Clean the Skin: Once you have removed all of the tape, clean your skin with soap and water to remove any remaining adhesive residue.
Avoid Scrubbing: Do not scrub your skin with abrasive materials, such as a towel or loofah, as this can irritate your skin and cause further damage.
It's important to remove kinesiology tape gently to avoid skin irritation or damage. If you experience any discomfort or skin irritation during the removal process, stop and seek medical advice.