Have you ever been to a sporting event and noticed participants with brightly colored tape on various parts of their body? That brightly colored tape is known as Kinesio Tape and it does have a purpose!
What is Kinesio Tape?
In 1979, Dr. Kenzo Kase, a Japanese Chiropractor, developed Kinesio Tape, an elastic adhesive used to alleviate discomfort in athletes. According to the Kinesio website, Kinesio Tape microscopically lifts the skin. This helps to facilitate lymphatic drainage which helps to decrease inflammation and reduce pressure in the joints.
Other benefits include:
Provide support and stability to the muscles and joints
Stimulate the body’s natural healing process
Prolong the benefits of manual therapy
Promote good circulation and healing
Improve posture & movement patterns
Who is Kinesio Tape good for?
Kinesio Tape has been popularized by athletes such as Kerri Walsh Jennings and David Beckham. This adds to the common misconception that Kinesio Tape is only useful for athletes. On the contrary, it is designed with the general population in mind. Kinesio Tape is applied to patients of all ages, and can be applied virtually anywhere on the body.
In addition to athletes, Kinesio Tape has proven beneficial for other populations including those suffering from neuromuscular or orthopedic medical conditions, geriatrics, and even pediatrics!
For Pediatrics: As a parent, you are probably used to one question from your kids… “Why?” If your child has suffered from an orthopedic-related injury, it may be difficult to explain to them why they should be doing their exercises. Kinesio Tape can be used in these cases to help support weak muscles, correct gait imbalances, correct posture, etc. Additionally, Kinesio Tape can be used in neuromuscular disorders such as Down Syndrome, cerebral palsy, and muscular dystrophy.
One of the best things about Kinesio Tape for kids? The variety of colors and patterns & the availability of sensitive skin tape!
How is the Kinesio Tape applied?
In order to determine where and how the tape should be applied, patients must undergo an assessment. There are currently 8 Kinesio Taping assessments developed by Dr. Kase and hundreds of different ways that the tape can be applied to provide benefit. You may never see the exact same taping application done!
Many people will ask, “Is it the tape or the application technique that yields results?” The answer is actually both. The technique is the most important aspect in achieving the greatest result. With a bad application, no tape would yield great results. But, when the Kinesio Tape was developed, the benefits increased. Kinesio Tape is elastic, the same thickness as the skin, skin friendly, and can stay on the skin for days at a time.
Unlike other taping methods, Kinesio Tape actually aides in the rehabilitation process. The tape helps the body achieve full range of motion, which allows the proper muscles to get the workout they need to heal. Other tapes may actually limit an individuals’ range of motion.
At Envision Sport, we use the Kinesio Tape Method with our patients. To learn more about taping, or to see if you are a good candidate for taping, contact us to set up an appointment!