Kinesio Taping- The Healing Tape: Is There Such a Thing?
Kinesio taping, also known as elastic therapeutic tape, looks and feels like an ace bandage. But it is a much thinner cotton tape that is able stretch up to 140 percent of its original length. Kenesio tape works by creating a “lift” on the skin. Consequently the painful tissue underneath can have normal motion.
Kinesio Tape vs. Athletic Tape
Kinesio taping is very different from other athletic tape. This is because Kinesio Tape is flexible and allows for a range of motion. In comparison, white athletic tape is rigid and limits motion. Also, Kinesio tape can be worn for three to five days, whereas other taping techniques do not allow wear for more than one day at a time. It is important to note that Kinesio taping should be used in conjunction with other therapy techniques. These techniques include massaging, stretching, heating and icing rather than replacement of these techniques.
Injuries Best Suited for Kinesio Taping
Kinesio taping works best on acute injuries, especially to help reduce swelling. For example, using the lymphatic drainage taping techniques when tendonitis type conditions are present, and movement is painful. That pain can be greatly reduced with Kinesio taping. For example, proper Kinesio taping techniques might enable a tennis player to lift his or her arm overhead, without such pain. Kinesio taping also works by supporting muscles. By using proper taping techniques, an athlete experiencing low back muscles in acute or chronic spasm, might not feel as much pain with Kinesio taping.
Why See A Certified Kinesio Tape Instructor?
Kinesio elastic therapeutic tape is sold in stores under different brand names, and usually come with instructions. Kinesio taping is very easy to apply, but can cause pain if not done properly. A common mistake is to pull on the tape too much and apply excessive tension. It is important to get proper instruction from a certified Kinesio tape practitioner first. They can show you the specific taping techniques for body parts and condition the athlete is trying to address. This instruction may be available in person, through books or through tutorials on YouTube to make learning easy for a specific body part or technique.
Sam Inderias is a physical therapist and certified Kinesio practioner at Sutter Delta Medical in Antioch.