Our muscles are easily damaged due to daily exercise, physical labor, mental stress or bad posture. For example, people walking with their upper body tilted back can experience the tension of muscle around the waist and suffer consequent back pain. Because they pull their heads towards the front of their bodies in order to balance themselves, the strained or stiffened muscles in the back of the neck and shoulder can cause headaches or stiff necks. Leg cramps or ankle pain is likely to be muscle pain.
If the muscle's tension or damage causes fascia disorders, the swelling of the muscle and bleeding of the fascia occurs and subsequently rising pressure in the fascia can block the passages such as for blood vessels and lymph nodes. As a result, interrupted blood circulation and consequently various diseases occurs. In this case, if you put the tape on your body, the pain will disappear and the illnesses can be improved. Thus, you can prevent the progression of chronic disease.
Currently, the taping therapy that is the most commonly used by medical practitioners and the public in South Korea is the Kinesio Taping therapy developed by Dr. Kase Kenzo.
However, unlike in Japan, more complex and reinforced tapings are widely used in South Korea. In Japan, the taping therapy comes from folk remedies and is primarily used for mild diseases. On the other hand, in South Korea, doctors have introduced the taping and so it is primarily used for patients with refractory diseases that respond weakly to physical therapy or more conventional methods rather than for patients with mild diseases. For this reason, more complex and reinforced tapings are more common.
For Kinesio Taping therapy, an elastic tape that can be stretched like skin is used. The patient's muscle is stretched and then relaxed. At this time, the tape that is not stretched is attached to the patient's skin. The tape is attached to the patient in a stretching posture and then he returns to his normal posture. In this case, the area to which the tape has been attached becomes folded and thus a space between the muscle and skin is created. So blood and lymph circulation becomes possible. If the circulation increases, the pain causing materials are quickly removed and the mechanical stimulation of the attached tape will reduce the pain.
However, deep muscles such as the piriformis muscle or rhomboid cannot fold. Thus, muscle releasing stimulation using a slacking machine needs to be used to get the effect of the taping therapy. When using muscle releasing stimulation, the muscles are contracted, as opposed to the taping. For chronic pain, you should attach the tape to your body and then strengthen your muscles with exercise in order to maximize the treatment effects.
In principle, you are recommended to attach the tape along the muscle fiber by finding the start and end of the muscle. However, even if you attach the tape without thinking about the exact muscle direction, you can still reducethe pain. According to the Gate Control Theory, due to the shrinking property of the elastic tape, a constant mechanical stimulation is said to suppress neurotransmission and to reduce the pain. For example, even when the taping direction is different from the direction of the frontalis fuscle, constant mechanical stimulation is found to have some effect.
The tape used in therapy is not treated with special chemicals such as cataplasma. The tape contains only adhesive attached to 30% shrinkage of fiber like the skin. Commercially available elastic tapes are available in several types.
But the tape that is the most appropriate is Kinesio tape.
The tape is cut and used in different types and lengths, depending on the different parts of the body. The width can be2.5cm, 3.75cm, 5cm and 7.5cm. In most cases, the 5cm tape is used. For example, when using the most narrow width of the tape (2.5cm), you can cut the 5cm tape into half. When using a wider tape, you can paste two 5cm tapes side by side.