This thin adhesive tape was created and developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase in 1970s. People suffering from soft tissue injuries use this adhesive tape. Whether you are dealing with an acute injury which is affecting a muscle or tendon or you want to manage degenerative joint pain, this tape can be the best option. It helps stabilize injured soft tissues or area of the body and allows healing without impacting or reducing the range of motion.
It is commonly used in areas of the body including the wrists, elbows, shins, calves, shoulders, and knees. You can apply it over and around the injured soft tissues, muscle, joints, and tendons to prevent any complication and reduce swelling. If you are an athlete or active person dealing with joint pains, then this tape can help reduce pain.
Kinesiology Tape: An Overview
This is thin, stretchy and cotton and elastic strip with an acrylic adhesive that can benefit in various sports and musculoskeletal injuries along with inflammatory issues. It can be worn without restricting or constricting the movement. Variety of physical disorders and athletic injuries can be managed by using KT tape(1). A professional athlete uses it the most as it helps prevent injury and improve sporting performance.
As we mentioned above, this tape is used to overcome joint/muscle injuries caused by intense training, but this is equally useful for non-athletes and older people who have been facing such pain or ache issues. Most people can benefit from using this tape.
If you are in a job requiring repetitive movement that can cause ache due to overuse and inflammation, then this tape can be useful for you. Miners, mechanics, landscapers and construction workers can use it. People who have a sedentary lifestyle that contributes to neck or back pain, then you can benefit from it.
[Read: KT Tape for Lower Back Pain]
Benefits of Using Kinesiology Tape for Wrist
It Helps Reduce Aches Caused by Injuries
This adhesive tape does not contain tropical substances or medications and helps relieve acute and chronic pain effectively. This think and elastic tape lifts the skin and reduces pressure on the pain receptors located between epidermis and dermis.
Reduces Inflammation and Swelling
This tape can also be used to support many inflammatory conditions, post-surgical recovery. It helps reduce pressure on lymphatic drainage channels that enhances removal of material and fluids collect in the injured area.
Prevents Cramps and Spasms
The tape is useful in improving oxygen and nutrient delivery to the fatigued or overused muscles by enhancing circulation that helps relieve or prevent cramps(2) and spasms. The unique application techniques and elastic properties allow it to offer necessary support to the injured joint/muscle without restricting the range of motion.
Apart from these benefits, it may help the recovery of wrist shoulder and running injuries such as hamstring pulls, runner’s knee, shin splints, plantar fasciitis, and knee pains.
[Read: KT Tape for Knee Pain]
How to Prepare Wrist for Kinesio Taping?
It is essential to know the cause of pain and other symptoms before taping your wrist. Median nerve compression in small carpal bones of the wrist can cause CTS. It can be triggered by repetitive sprains or strains from unusual wrist anatomy, overuse of the wrist, inflammatory arthritis and poorly healed fractures. Common symptoms include weakness within hand/wrist, tingling(3), numbness, and pain within the hand.
If you notice similar signs, then you need to see neurologist or family doctor. Nerve conduction and EMG are done to confirm the diagnosis of the condition. Once it is approved, then you can go for taping. You need to see a practitioner familiar with KT taping.
No doubt, your doctor may know how to do the taping, but he or she will refer you to chiropractor, physiotherapist or physician who is experienced and has training with the right techniques.
At the initial stage, you can seek assistance from a health professional and let him tape your wrist with K tape. You can learn the process/technique and duplicate it at home. You can ask lots of questions from the practitioner so that you can tape your wrist effectively next time.
Once you are at home, you can observe how effective K tape technique is for CTS. If you find it useful, then you need to do more research regarding it. You can watch videos available online and gather more information on how and where to buy it for home use.
How to Use Pre-Cut Kt Tape for wrist pain?
You need to follow below-given tips while using Pre-Cut Kinesio Tape for wrist:
Wash your Hand
You need to clean your wrist, forearm, and hand thoroughly with warm water and soap and dry the entire area with a clean towel. If any oil or moisture is left on the skin, then the effectiveness of the adhesive will be reduced.
After washing with soap and water, you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer to remove grime and oil on the skin. You should gently shave the hairy hands or forearms before applying any tape.
Set Out the Strips of the Tape
If you have Kinesio pre-cut wrist kit with two shorter pieces and one long piece, then set out these strips on a flat surface and apply the long piece to the forearm. In most cases, long piece (12 inches) fits everyone virtually but you can trim it if you find your forearm is short. You can check the cutting guide on the back of the tape.
Flex down your wrist before applying it as it helps put your forearm muscles into a position of tension or stretch. You should avoid stretching the tape too much while using. You just have to remove the paper backing and apply it. Don’t forget to press it down else it will not stick well. Now, you can apply a shorter band around your wrist.
You should apply the tape at least one hour before any physical activity. It helps offer sufficient glue time to stick or bind to the skin.
Re-Tape Within a Week
Most K tape can be useful for 3-5 days with regular bathing and athletic activities but if you find it is getting loose or worse, and then you can re-tape it. You can pull it off, but if you find any issue, then you can soak your arm in warm water or use tape cutting scissor to cut it.
You should tape your wrist for several weeks as CTC is a chronic condition. You can take a break if your skin shows irritation signs.
How does KT Tape work on Human Body?
Apply the tape over and around the injured tendon, muscle and joint to reduce inflammation and swelling. It helps stabilize the injured area and allows it to recover without any further complication.
When you apply it in the right manner, it lifts the skin to create space between dermis layer and muscle and this space takes the pressure off injured/sore or swelling muscles. It makes space for proper blood flow and drainage and allows smooth and hassle-free muscle movement.
[Read: KT Pain for Shoulder Pain]
No doubt, this is a safe and natural way to help treat muscle injuries, but there are so many situations when using KT tape is not appropriate. You should always seek a doctor’s advice when using KT tape for the first time. Seek out the professional’s help if you are not sure about the correct way of using the KT tape wrist.
KT tape should not be used if you have any of the below-given issues:
- Deep vein thrombosis (blood clotting)
- Any skin infection
- Kidney failure or disease
- Congestive heart failure
KT tape is a natural and safe way to stabilize an injured area of the body including ankles, calves, lower back, knees, back, elbows and wrist. It can help reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain while improving, inherent strength, range of motion, blood flow and more. You should use it only after seeking guidance from professionals as there are several health conditions when using KT tape is an inappropriate way.