If you think Kinesiology tapes are just for athletes, think again! Kinesiology tapes can be used for any injuries or ailments for all types of people.
Kinesiology tape is a therapeutic tape that is applied to pain points in the body for muscle protection, pain relief, reduced swelling, improved performance, and immediate aid for injuries. In this article, we will focus on the uses of Kinesiology sports tape (KT) for the rotator cuff.
Before we begin, it is important to know where the rotator cuff is. A rotator cuff is a group of muscles and their tendons around the shoulder joint that stabilize the shoulder. Even though these muscles are among the smaller ones in your body, their function is very important. They are responsible for your shoulder and arm movements.
These muscles start from the shoulder blade and connect to the upper arm, forming a “cuff,” thus the term “rotator cuff.” They keep the upper arm bone attached firmly to the shallow socket of the shoulder and allow movement in your arms.
Symptoms of Rotator Cuff Muscle Injuries
If you feel pain at the front and outside of the shoulder or in the shoulder itself, the rotator cuff muscles are likely causing the pain. Symptoms include raised shoulders, a lessened or limited range of motion, pain, and weakness of the arms.
Rotator cuff pain often worsens during activities that require raising your arms overhead, such as combing your hair or reaching your back. You also feel pain when you stretch your arms out in front of your body. The rotator cuff muscle pain worsens at night.
Injuries Associated with the Rotator Cuff
- Rotator cuff tears
A rotator cuff tear happens when the muscles are strained, resulting in the tendons pulling away from the arm bone. A tear may be caused by overuse or other injuries. A tear can be partial or complete. A partial tear is when the tendon is still attached to the arm bone; a complete tear is when the tendon separates completely from the bone.
Accidents such as a fall or heavy blow to the shoulders can cause a dislocated shoulder or a broken collarbone that tears the rotator cuff. The most common rotator cuff tears occur over time during ageing. It is called a degenerative tear.
There are two main causes behind degenerative tears: bone spurs and overuse. A bone spur is the growth of bone that can form on the shoulder top. This can cause friction against the tendon that results from lifting your arms. Over time, a partial or complete tear may happen. Overuse is caused by repetitive shoulder movements. People who are into sports and whose jobs can stress muscles and tendons are more vulnerable to this.
Benefits of Kinesio Tape
The main function of the rotator cuff kinesiology tape is to increase the natural flow of blood around the muscle. Studies show the different ways Kinesiology tape functions as follows:
- Changes in pain pathways signals
Kinesiology tape lifts the skin over tense, knotted muscles and decompresses the area. This sends a new signal to the brain, decreasing the trigger point tension.
- Improvements in blood and fluid circulation
KT application creates an extra subcutaneous space, which changes the pressure gradient in the area of the skin. This pressure change enhances the flow of lymphatic fluid and improves blood flow. The lymphatic system regulates swelling and fluid buildup.
The Connection Between Kinesio Tape and the Rotator Cuff
Applying Kinesio tape to the rotator cuff is popular among athletes whose sports involve using their shoulders and arms for repetitive movements. They use KT because it provides stability to the shoulder, increases the range of motion, and decreases pain. Here are the main benefits of using KT tape for you rotator cuff:
- Decreases pain
Having shoulder pain limits your daily activity. Kinesio taping lessens shoulder pain during physical activities.
- Allows for freedom of movement
You can just imagine how frustrating it is if your movement is restricted because you feel excruciating pain every time you move. Through Kinesio taping, your shoulder function improves, resulting in a dramatic increase in your movement.
- Boosts healing
Kinesio taping promotes healing, hastens recovery, and keeps injuries from worsening.
How to Apply Kinesiology Tape to the Injured Rotator Cuff
If you watch sports, you have probably noticed athletes with these colorful tapes pasted on different areas of their bodies. This is Kinesio tape. Kinesio tape is applied in various ways to different parts of the body.
The proper application for the rotator cuff goes as follows: apply the tape to the front of your shoulder, extending it to the back, or vice versa, and then rub the tape gently to completely adhere the tape to your shoulder.
Kinesio tape is just one of the ways to heal injuries in your shoulder, ease the pain and swelling, or prevent injuries. However, it does not guarantee complete healing when used alone. It is important to consult with your doctor to find the right healing process for you. For serious injuries, the best results can be achieved when you combine Kinesio taping with traditional therapy.
If you are looking to find quality K-tape, look no further. Hampton Adams provides some of the best Kinesiology tapes on the market to help your healing journey.