This tape is a type of thin, elastic cotton tape that can stretch up to 140% of its original length. Thus, if the tape is applied to a patient on a stretch greater than its normal length, it will “recoil”(spring back) after being applied and create a pulling force on the skin or muscle that it is being applied to.
When treating weak muscles the tape is applied with the affected muscle in a stretched position, taping from the origin (closest to the body) of the muscle to the insertion point. Once applied, it is rubbed to activate the adhesive by heat. It is a latex free material with acrylic adhesive. The cotton fibers allow for evaporation and quicker drying leading to longer wear time, up to 4 days . It is shower proof but not bath proof. Dependent on how the tape is applied, the direction of pull, the shape, and the location, all play a role in its function.
There are several theoretical benefits claimed for the tape. One of those is correcting the alignment of weak muscles as well as facilitating joint motion as a result of the tape’s recoiling qualities. Additionally, the tape is claimed to lift the skin, increasing the space below it, and increasing blood flow and circulation of lymphatic fluids (swelling) aiding drainage and reducing brusing more quickly. This increase in the interstitial space is said to lead to less pressure on the body’s nociceptors, which detect pain, and to stimulate mechanoreceptors, to improve overall joint proprioception (the body’s awareness of function in space) and improve pain.