Kinesio Taping - the brightly coloured therapeutic tape beloved by athletes - was brought to the world stage at the London 2012 Olympics… but for many years it's been used very effectively in the equine to help reduce swelling, bruising and injuries.
The tape acts on five major physiological compartments of the body: skin, connective tissue, muscles, joints and the lymphatic system. Unlike standard strapping, the tape is designed to mimic the skin, allowing normal movement.
The technique used to apply the tape depends on the therapeutic effect required. It can compress an area if applied at more than 50% tension, or decompress to lift the skin if applied less tightly. Muscles that need to work harder can be activated by the tape, or inhibited if they need to back off.
As the tape is stretched over the skin, it creates wrinkles in the skin, allowing the lymphatic system to work more efficiently - reducing inflammation and clearing waste. Additionally, it can stimulate touch receptors in the nervous system, blocking out transmission from pain receptors.
It can aid the prevention of injury, re-educate the neuromuscular system and reduce pain over a wide range of conditions.