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What is Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiology tape colours don't differ in their function

There are a few kinesiology tape varieties on the market that might sound familiar, the most popular used by clinicians are rock tape and kinesio tape.

The difference between kinesiology tape and rigid sports tape lies in the elasticity of the tape. It differs from conventional rigid sports tape because it mimics human skin, as it's able to stretch and move with the body rather than restricting joint movement. When it is applied to the skin on stretch it forms convulsions and wrinkles. This creates a bio-mechanical lifting of the skin that decompresses the tissues beneath. The advantage of this is that it promotes a more normal fluid movement under the tape, thus helping to reduce swelling. The tape also allows for better glide between tissue layers, and reduces pressure on nerves due to the lifting of tissue the tape creates.

As with all different types of tape they stimulate our body's own proprioception. Proprioception is the process by which our body can vary muscle contraction in immediate reaction to incoming information relating to external forces (in this case the tape), by utilising stretch receptors in our muscles to keep track of the joint position of our body. This process can both decrease pain and improve movement patterns. 

Kinesiology tape colours don’t differ in their function.

Rock tape which is one of the brands we use in our clinic is low allergy tape, and if you have tried the white coloured fixomull or hypafix tapes in the past without problems then your skin should be able to tolerate kinesiology tape without irritation. 

Other benefits of kinesiology tape is that it holds up better than rigid tape when wet. So there's no problems wearing kinesiology tape in the water. Swimmers rejoice!

Watch how Rocktape can stretch up to 180% of its original length!

3 exercises for office workers

For those of you doing your nine to five daily grind permanently glued to your chair at the office, this post is especially for you! Here are three exercises to get you through the day without seizing up at your desk and drawing strange looks from your co-workers. Best of all they can be done at your desk.

1. Backward shoulder rolls

A simple exercise to encourage your shoulders to relax and not slowly creep up towards your ears as your work day goes on. Gently roll both shoulders backwards in a circular motion.  Easy isn't it?  We recommend you do 10 repetitions at least twice during your day. 

 

2. Shoulder blade squeezes

Being mindful to keep your head in a neutral alignment (eg. don't poke your chin out- tuck it in, and keep your head inline with your spine), gently depress and squeeze your shoulder blades simultaneously down into a V position (visualise holding a pen between your shoulder blades) and slightly raise through your sternum. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat 10 times. This will help to strengthen your back and keep your shoulders from rolling forward - say no to the quasimodo posture! 

 

3. Forearm stretches

If you're behind a desk you are probably using a computer, so to reduce your chances of getting carpal tunnel add this stretch to your routine. To stretch your extensors (the muscles on the back of your forearm) make a fist and flex downward at your wrist whilst straightening your elbow. You can use your other hand to apply some additional pressure downward on your hand to enhance the stretch.  Now, to stretch your forearm flexors open your hand, extend your wrist back and straighten your elbow. To enhance the stretch use your other hand to pull your hand back. *If you feel any tingling sensation back off the stretch a little.

Forearm Flexor Stretch

Forearm Flexor Stretch