Understanding Kinesio Tape & Compression Wear: Their Differences & When To Use Them
If you are experiencing soreness, muscle fatigue, or swelling, and are searching for relief, you have come to the right place. Many people experience these issues on a daily basis, but aren’t sure what options are out there. You may have heard that products like Kinesio tape and compression wear help improve swelling, fatigue, and more, but you’re not sure which is right for you. We’ve broken down the differences for you, in hopes that you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for and be on the road to speedy relief.
What is Kinesio Tape?
Kinesio tape is used to help improve the function of your muscles and joints. It has a long list of benefits, including
- reduces swelling
- prevents cramping
- speeds recovery from exhausted muscles
- reduces pain
- heals bruising
- and much more!
When Kinesio tape is applied to the body, it lifts the skin underneath ever so slightly. This minor lift allows for better blood flow, which helps bring more oxygen to the muscles, and relieve fatigue. The influx of oxygen to the muscle also helps calm spasms and reduce cramping. The extra space between the muscle and the layers of skin allows for inflammation to be reduced more rapidly as well,
Kinesio tape is designed to work with your body. The tape itself mirrors the feeling of your skin to reduce any irritation, or distraction from your daily life. Using Kinesio tape will not slow you down one bit. You and your muscles are free to move around as much as you want. This is why Kinesio tape is so popular with athletes.
Although you can apply Kinesio tape by yourself, it is best to seek the expertise of someone who understands the importance of proper placement. If you try to apply the tape yourself, you may end up doing more harm to your injuries. If not taped properly, your muscles can undergo further strain and discomfort.
How Does Compression Wear Differ?
Similar to Kinesio tape, compression wear helps improve your blood flow, but in a completely different way. Rather than lifting the skin, compression wear uses graduated compression to help your veins carry blood back to your heart for circulation. Compression hosiery helps relieve fatigued muscles by helping improve circulation. They also help treat conditions like varicosities and spider veins.
With increased circulation, you can reduce swelling in your legs, feet, and ankles. Although there is no significant evidence that compression wear improves athletic performance, many people swear by it. The idea is that, with increased circulation during exercise, muscles receive a higher uptake of oxygen, and are less likely to become sore afterwards.
You’ll want to watch out when putting on compression wear. If the hosiery isn’t put on right, or is bunched, rolled, or too long, it can have an adverse effect. Compression wear that is not properly fitted can lead to increased circulation problems. That is why it is best to seek professional advice when picking out compression wear.
Kinesio tape would be more effective for injuries sustained during exercise, while compression wear is best for those who have poor circulation. If you are an athlete, you may consider either Kinesio tape, compression wear, or a mix of both. The biggest advantage for Kinesio tape is that it can be applied practically anywhere on the body. If you work in an office, or aren’t very active throughout the day, compression hosiery is probably your best bet. If you are still unsure about which is the best fit for you, contact us and we’ll help guide your way.