Not Fancy, Just Effective
Therapeutic taping is not new, but some relatively new and effective products and methods — such as Kinesio Taping — are providing different and sometimes better outcomes. Some studies have shown that therapeutic taping provides a variety of benefits, including a more than 90 percent reduction in pain.
Physicians, physiotherapists, certified athletic trainers, occupational therapists, and physical therapists like those at CORA Physical Therapy use Kinesio Taping to:
- Relieve pain
- Increase lymphatic drainage
- Decrease swelling
- Improve circulation
- Reduce inflammation
The Kinesio Taping Method involves the application of Kinesio Tex Tape, which was created in 1973 by Dr. Kenzo Kase after he became dissatisfied with the adhesive tapes available at that time.
Kinesio Tex Tape is a latex-free, hypoallergenic, water-resistant cotton fiber tape that doesn’t impede movement and is designed to mimic the weight and thickness of skin. It can stretch 40 to 60 percent of its resting length.
How Does Kinesio Tape Work?
The Kinesio Taping Method is different from strapping tape and the traditional McConnell Taping Method in several important ways.
- McConnell Tape is a stiff, sticky tape that is applied for a shorter duration of time, sometimes less than one day.
- The McConnell Taping Method tapes body parts to affect a specific biomechanical movement such as patellar tracking.
- Athletic strapping tape is used primarily to restrict range of motion and to limit muscle movement, creating a sort of bridge over injured areas of the body to provide support during athletic performance such as a football game.
- Kinesio tapes believed to alter the information that is sent to the brain. It causes a less sensitive reaction in the body, effectively removing some of the body’s barriers to healing.
Strips of Kinesio Tex Tape are placed in specific directions to help improve mobility and support the joints, muscles, and tendons of the body. Upon application, the tape pulls on the upper layers of the skin, creating more space between the dermis and the muscle, relieving pressure on the lymph channels and allowing for better lymph flow and drainage in the affected area. As a result, the patient will notice less swelling, especially when applying to injuries such as an ankle sprain.
The space between the dermis and the muscle also contains nerve receptors that send information to the brain. When this space is compressed due to injury, these nerve receptors become compacted and continuously relay information regarding touch, cold, pain, pressure, and heat to the brain. As a result, the brain sends certain signals to the body regarding how to react to stimulus. The tape, in essence, gives the patient a subtle reminder about body position which can help improve movement.
Kinesio Taping is believed to work by:
- Changing the proprioception input of the sensory nervous system in the muscles, joints, and skin
- Improving the interaction between the skin and the underlying structures
- Impeding pain pathways in the muscles, skin, and joints
Generally, Kinesio Taping creates balance in the neural circuitry of the muscles, tendons, joints, and skin, reducing pain and swelling while improving muscle performance and function. Kinesio Taping is particularly helpful for athletes who are suffering from injuries such as back pain, sprains, patellar maltracking, and injuries resulting from repetitive movements of the hand or elbow, among other conditions.
Effective Treatment for a Variety of Injuries
CORA Physical Therapy also offers a full range of physical therapy services, including Kinesio Taping, to a wide variety of clients – athletes as well as non-athletes – through a continually growing network of physical therapy clinics throughout Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. Book an appointment with one of our physical therapists and see how we can help you get back to life quickly and safely, no matter the injury.