In many cases the tape is applied in such a way that it mimics the action of the injured muscle or tendon. The tape is placed on the body with the muscle or joint in the shortened position and with stretch on the tape. As the muscle or joint lengthens, the tape is stretched further and thereby absorbs load just as a bungee cord decelerates the jumper, absorbing load. This reduces the eccentric work of the muscles.
Once full range is reached, the absorbed energy is stored in the form of elastic potential energy. As the muscle or joint begins to shorten, the energy is released back into the biomechanical chain as kinetic energy, thereby assisting the concentric action of the muscle. This results in decreased workload and improved biomechanical efficiency of the musculo-tendinous unit, decreased metabolic demand and improved tolerance to fatigue.
Reducing load may result in less pain, better healing (can load sooner resulting in functional stress and better scar formation), improved endurance and performance. Dramatic improvements in circulation and lymphatics have also been observed. There are a number of mechanical and physiological mechanisms that are likely to contribute. These are outlined in our free eLearning programs located on the resources page.