Kinesiology Tape is the use of elastic therapeutic tape to enhance the body's healing process. The tape provides muscles and joints with support and the maintenance of benefits experienced following the use of manual therapy techniques used by your PT. One of the unique features is that the tape does this without limiting your movement or range of motion. Kinesio taping when done properly can improve several systems in the body - including the circulatory system (blood & lymphatics), nervous system, muscular system, fascial system and just about any joint in the body. Kinesio tape can help to reduce pain, change muscle tone by either activating or quieting a muscle, correct movement patterns, decrease inflammation & lymphedema by moving lymphatic fluids and improve posture.
Taping since when?
The first uses of this type of elastic therapeutic taping and the Kinesio taping method was seen in Japan in 1079 by Dr. Kenzo Kase. The purpose, theory and effectiveness lies in the lifting property the tape provides.
Why is Elastic Therapeutic Taping Effective?
The elasticity of the tape results in lifting of the skin layer and muscles/tissues that it is attached to. This lift allows for blood and other body fluids to move more readily around the muscles and the areas below the tape. Lifting experienced from the tape increase/decrease when changing the tension of the tape. Further lifting properties are experienced with crossing layers of tape over each other. When there is more space between the skin and the fascia, pressure is decreased and allows for decreased inflammation by promoting movement of those inflammatory fluids. Research is still being done and further developed, but it is hypothesized that elastic therapeutic taping may have the following effects:
- Increased circulation to the taped areas
- Decreased Edema by encouraging the flow of fluid
- Proper input to the nervous system
- Providing positional stimulus to the skin, muscle and/or fascia
Wear-time and Application:
- The area to be taped should be prepared by cleaning it using warm water and/or rubbing alcohol in order to remove excess oils, sweat, dirt or lotions.
- A skin adhesive can be used to improve the stickiness of the tape.
- The tape can then be applied. Your PT can teach you how to tape yourself.
- Tape is water-resistant and will survive a shower.
- This tape can be worn for up to 3-5 days but should be removed immediately if you have any skin irritation (if it becomes red, hot, or itchy)
Common diagnoses that can be treated with elastic therapeutic tape can include but are definitely not limited to:
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Tendonitis (rotator cuff impingement, achilles tendonitis, posterial tibialis tendonitis)
- Lateral Epicondylitis ("Tennis Elbow")
- Scar healing (decreases scarring left behind)
- Carpal Tunnel
Not sure if taping is appropriate for you? Call or pop into one of our locations. Any of our PT's will be happy to answer your taping questions.
Tips provided by Leila Moore, PT. Leila is currently practicing as a Physical Therapist in our Baldwinsville location.
Want to learn more about Leila? Meet her here!