What layer of tissue or area you’re targeting depends on the amount of tension you apply to the tape. In this article, learn how to add the right amount of tension to your kinesiology tapes to affect different levels of the affected areas.
Before starting, here are some terms that you need to keep in mind:
Anchor. It is the first part of the tape that you apply. No tension should be applied to it.
Base. Also called the ends or tails, it is the end part of the tape. No tension should be applied to it.
Therapeutic zone. It is the middle part of the tape. It is where the treatment effect is going to occur.
Now that you know the jargon for this guide, let’s talk about the different tension levels that you can apply to your kinesiology tape and the benefits for each.
Kinesiology Tape Tension and What It Affects
Here are the different levels of tension that you can apply on your kinesiology tapes and what areas they affect:
0 - 5%. This level of tension affects the epidermal layer. It is the outermost and most superficial layer of the skin.
5 - 10%. This level of tension affects the dermal layer of the skin. This layer contains connective tissue, blood vessels, sweat glands, nerves, and sweat glands.
10 - 15%. This level of tension affects the superficial fascia that is located under the skin.
*For inhibiting a muscle or to reduce muscle activation, it is recommended to apply 15% tension. This tension level helps with acute injuries that are painful and swollen. By stopping the muscle from getting activated, you prevent it from getting worse while lessening inflammation.
15 - 25%. This level of tension affects the middle fascia.
*To activate a muscle and help improve its contractile ability, you want to increase that tension to 25%. It is important to note that if you’re using Tape Geeks kin tape, you can barely see through the tape. But, it can also be different for other brands.
25 - 35%. This level of tension affects the deep fascia.
50% or below. This level of tension causes decompression on the tissues below. It is used when there’s swelling, and if you want to increase the blood flow to the area.
50% and above. This level of tension causes compression on the tissues below.
50 - 75%. This level of tension affects the tendon. It helps provide stability for tendon strain.
75 - 100%. This level of tension provides stability for the joint when you have a ligament sprain.
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