It has become the norm to see athletes with different body parts taped up but do you know how this brightly coloured tape works and how it is also great for your horse?
How does Kinesiology Taping work?
Kinesiology tape is different to normal tape, it stretches with the horse (or person) so there is no restriction in the movement. When it is applied to a horse it lifts the hair which creates decompression by lifting the skin, this improves the blood and lymphatic flow in the area. It also relieves pressure from nerves, creating several benefits to a horse.
By applying kinesiology tape to an area of restriction the tissues are able to move more freely, restoring the natural gliding motion. The tape also stimulates the proprioceptor nerves which allows the brain to know where the body part is and how it’s moving. After an injury or trauma these can become altered, stimulating the nerves again improves the horse’s natural movement. This can also decrease the chances of further injury.
When applying tape with more stretch it improves the recoil effect, this gives more support to tissues that have been injured or are weaker due to over stretching or strain.
When muscles become tight there is an increase in pressure on nerves which creates the feeling of pain. As the kinesiology tape reduces friction it also stimulates nerves such as the mechanoreceptors which inhibit the pain generators in the area (nociceptors). When more of the mechanoreceptors are generated this reduces the overall feeling of pain in the area. Combining this with the improved movement of the tissues and increased proprioception allows the horse to move more naturally and freely.
When kinesiology tape is applied to an area of swelling the fluid is able to move more freely and therefore toxins are removed from the area more efficiently. Due to the increase in circulation to the site of swelling essential oxygen and nutrients are able to travel to the area and aid in the healing of the injured site.
So, kinesiology taping has many fantastic benefits, complimenting and improving the effects of a massage, leaving you with one happy and healthy horse.