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Kinesio Taping: Is It Effective?

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What is Kinesio Taping?

Kinesio taping is a technique used primarily to provide support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting movement. It involves applying a special elastic tape to the skin in specific patterns to aid in various therapeutic goals. Due to its stretching nature, once applied it will lift up the different layers of skin, fascia and muscles on the area of application which encourages blood flow and lymph drainage within the area. 

Rigid taping also known as sports taping, is a technique that involces the application of non-elastic tape in a specific pattern to restrict movement and provide firm support. It is applied in a manner that the joint or muscle is immobilised, preventing excessive movement that could lead to further injury or aggravation of existing conditions. The tape is primarily used in returning to sport after a joint sprain by providing extra support and stability to prevent further injury and aid in healing, for example an ankle sprain. 

 

Kinesio Taping

How does Kinesio Tape Work?

The kinesiology taping method is based on the science of maintaining support to the body while allowing blood and other bodily fluids to move freely through and around the injured muscle. Kinesiology tape stabilizes the injured area by lightly adhering to the skin and applying pressure to the tissues the tape is wrapped around.

This tape allows the connective tissue surrounding the affected muscle or tendon to move along with the body. It gently allows the free flow of blood and lymphatic fluid to cleanse and heal the inflammation without the use of medications or surgery.

This special tape helps to improve circulation, support muscles, allow the internal injury to heal, and help prevent further muscle injury while still allowing motion.

Patient case study

Faris has been suffering from neck and shoulder pain due prolonged hours at work. We used rigid tape to bind down and limit activation of his upper trapezius muscle which he was doing unconsciously. This will help him become more aware and enable positive muscle memory.

What Kinesio Taping can Help with?

Any soft-tissue injury or pain can benefit from kinesiology taping – everyone from a young athlete with overused or injured muscles to an elderly person with a degenerative joint disease.

Kinesiology taping can help:

  • Those whose professions involve hard physical labor and repetitive movements (construction workers, factory workers, gardeners, mechanics, miners, secretaries, etc.)
  • People who sit and work at a desk for long periods every day, or who have sedentary lifestyles.
  • Athletes and other physically active people, including cyclists, golfers, joggers, and other exercise enthusiasts or those involved in sports.
  • People who suffer the after-effects of bad posture, poor sleeping habits, etc.
  • Joint pain sufferers.
  • People suffering from joint, muscle, or tendon injuries of any kind, whether due to disease or accidents.

Areas of the body where kinesiology tape is commonly used include:

  • Back
  • Calves
  • Elbows
  • Hamstrings
  • Knees
  • Shins
  • Shoulders
  • Wrists

Benefits of Using Kinesio Taping

The goals of kinesiology taping are to improve circulation, support muscles, foster healing, and help prevent injury or further injury.

Five of the top benefits of using this method are:

  • Decreased Pain: By gently applying pressure, kinesiology tape helps to disrupt and dissipate pain.
  • Increased Circulation and Decreased Inflammation: The tape can help remove congestion while allowing efficient circulation of oxygenated blood and lymphatic fluids. Circulation flushes out irritants, thereby reducing inflammation and chemical buildup and fostering a speedy recovery.
  • Improved Posture and Muscle Support: Taping areas that veer away from correct posture can help gently support proper posture. Proper taping also enables weak muscles to function efficiently, reduces pain and fatigue, and protects against cramping, over-extension, and over-contraction.
  • Improved Athletic Performance: By supporting unstable joints and delivering slight pressure to “sleeping” muscles, taping can prompt higher performance. Unlike other assistive devices that can lead to dependence on them for stability and support, kinesiology tape trains the body to become independent and efficient.
  • Supported endogenous analgesic system: The tape enables the body’s own healing mechanisms to work in the recovery process. (“Endogenous” means “internal,” and “analgesic” means “relieving pain.”)

WHAT OUR PATIENTS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT US

How to Apply Kinesio Tape?

Step 1: Trim or shave excess hair from the area to be applied.

Step 2: Use rubbing alcohol to remove any lotions or oils on the skin. Allow the skin to completely dry.

Step 3: If you need to make any cuts in the kinesiology tape make sure you round the corners as this helps to avoid the tape from snagging on clothing.

Step 4: Start by removing the backing paper from the center. Do not touch the adhesive part of the tape, keep your fingers on backing paper instead.

Step 5: When applying the anchor on the first strip, do not allow there to be any stretch on the last two inches on either end. This can cause the Kinesiology tape to detach and pull on the skin.

Step 6: To ensure a good stretch, use your thumb and index finger to apply even pressure across the width of the kinesiology tape strip.

Step 7: Stretch the strip to the desired length and then release about 20% of the stretch before applying. Please see our instructional videos for specific stretch recommendations.

Step 8: For solid adhesion, rub vigorously for 10 seconds or more or use a hairdryer for additional heat. The heat activates the glue, allowing for a longer duration of use.

 

Summary

Kinesiology taping may provide support, increase circulation, reduce pain, and improve the way your joints and muscles work.

Before using it, you should talk to your Chiropractor, because it’s most useful when combined with other treatment methods.

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