How To Remove Kinesiology Tape
Tips For Taking Off Athletic Tape
Whether you play sports or you’re a spectator, you’ve probably seen athletes covering shoulders, elbows, knees, and ankle with tape. Most people won’t give this more than a passing thought but there is a reason for the tape to be there. In most cases, the tape being used is called kinesiology tape or, athletic tape. This tape is used as a form of physical therapy and is reported to alleviate pain, reduce swelling, and improve the athlete’s performance.
When properly applied, kinesiology tape recoils or retracts just enough to very slightly raise your skin creating a minuscule amount of space between your skin and the underlying tissues. Kinesiology tape will either compress or decompress the tissues and change the way the affected areas send pain signals to your brain. Experts also claim that the use of this wonder tape can also improve the circulation of blood and other fluids to the tissues which work at reducing any swelling.
The main functions of kinesiology tape are to give support to weak points in an athlete’s anatomy, re-train weak muscles and help improve performance. While all this is a dream come true for athletes, the downside is that kinesiology tape is somewhat difficult and painful to remove. If you thought to rip off a bandaid was bad enough, you’re in for a real shock when it comes to removing kinesiology tape. However, there are a few tips you can implement to remove kinesiology tape in a less painful manner.
1. Shower It Off
After a heavy training session or challenge match, you’re going to need a shower anyway. This is the best place to remove kinesiology tape as water will reduce the stickiness of the adhesive. However, before you hit the shower, rub some baby oil over the entire surface of the tape. Give it a good saturation and sit tight for 15 to 20 minutes. Then you can hit the shower, let the tape get really wet and slowly, but carefully peel the tape off, pulling the tape in the direction of hair growth.
If you don’t have any baby oil on hand you can use ordinary soap or shower gel. Simply get in the shower and rub the soap thoroughly over the kinesiology tape with the water running over it as you go. Pull the tape off gently while keeping the water running over the area.
2. Shave Before You Apply
Kinesiology tape is often difficult to adhere to your affected muscles so your trainer or therapist may recommend shaving the hair off the area being taped. This is usually only necessary for very hairy legs, arms or chests but it will certainly give you a little more adherence. It’s also a good idea to use tape spray for an added layer of adhesiveness. The beauty of shaving the area is two-fold – kinesiology tape will adhere better and, without the fluff, it will be easier to remove later on. After all, much of the pain of removing kinesiology tape is due to the adhesive stubbornly sticking to every little hair. You’ll still need to take additional measures when removing the tape, but being hairless underneath, the tape will certainly make this task easier.
3. Use A Tape Remover Spray
Fortunately, the makers of kinesiology have recognized the plight of removing the tape afterward. One of the most effective methods of removing kinesiology tape is with an athletic tape remover spray. This wonder spray works by loosening or dissolving the adhesive of kinesiology tape for easier removal. Best of all, it makes this process relatively painless.
4. Get The Right Tape
For some people, pain is a daily challenge they need to live with and kinesiology tape has made life more bearable for these people. The trick is to find the right tape. In most cases, kinesiology tape should be able to remain on the affected area for 3 to 5 days before needing to be removed. However, kinesiology tape, while made from high-quality materials, will limit your skin’s ability to breathe so make sure do remove the tape after a few days and give your skin a break. The right tape will feel comfortable and should not cause any irritation. The right tape is essential to be effective for your pain, but it will also be a lot easier to remove.
5. Make Sure The Kinesiology Tape Is Correctly Applied
Applying kinesiology tape may look simple, but knowing how to apply it correctly is crucial. The tape needs to be adhered to the exact pressure point to be effective in reducing pain and swelling, as well as improving blood circulation and lymphatic drainage. Correct application is also vital for comfort during use and will make removing the tape easier as well. The most recommendable advice is to use pre-tape sprays. Kinesiology tape should be applied over clean, taut skin to prevent it from bunching up. The smoother the applied tape, the better it functions and it will make removal so much easier and with less pain.
The Dos And Don’ts Of Kinesiology Tape
As with all therapies, there are things you should do and things you shouldn’t do. Here are a few dos and don’ts of using kinesiology tape.
- Do clean the skin well. It’s a good idea to use hand sanitizer or rubbing alcohol over the area so that it is completely clean. The last thing you want to do is trap dirt, grime, and germs under the tape for several days.
- Don’t apply the tape immediately after cleaning or showering. Skin takes at least 30 to 60 minutes to dry completely and you must ensure your skin is completely clean and dry before applying the tape.
- Do shave or trim areas that have a lot of hair growth covering them. Not only does this ensure proper adhesion, but it also makes removal a lot easier and less painful.
- Don’t apply kinesiology tape to skin that is damaged or irritated. If you have an open wound, it is also best avoided.
- Do seek advice from an expert kinesiologist. The first few times you have kinesiology tape applied it is best to have it done so buy a kinesiologist so that it is applied correctly. You can always do it yourself later when you’ve seen it done right.