If you have been following the Olympic games you have probably noticed, like many of our patients have, a new taping style that is very popular among athletes. That tape is called Kinesio Tape (KT). It is a modality that helps the body recover and perform better.
KT was developed in Japan in 1973 by Kenzo Kase, D.C. Dr. Kase based this taping technique on the body’s own natural healing process by activation of neurological, circulatory and lymphatic systems. This product originally was used mainly with the non-athletic population. KT was used in 1984 by the Japanese Olympic Men’s Volleyball team. KT was introduced to the US in 1995 and has been growing in popularity since. It is now seen on many professional sport teams in the USA, Japan and Europe.
KT is used to assist and support or prevent over contraction of muscles by taping over and around muscles. This taping technique is very different from traditional taping methods, in that, the KT allows for full range of motion and can be worn for 3-5 days. The tape is made of 100% cotton fibers, which allows for moisture evaporation and quick drying of the tape. The tape is latex free and hypoallergenic.
So how does Kinesio Tape work?
KT has four major physiological effects:
- Analgesic (pain)
It helps to decrease pain by relieving abnormal feelings on the skin by providing a gentle sensory stimulation. It supports the muscle in movement because the elastic properties of the tape enhance the function of muscle fibers and tendons. It improves muscle contraction or relaxation depending on the taping technique used. The KT lifts the skin causing convolutions, which provides space and helps decrease pressure thus decreasing swelling and pain. KT can also help correct joint misalignment by affecting the muscle and myofascia. It helps to improve range of motion, decrease muscle imbalance and increase kinetic awareness of the joint.
The benefits of KT include, assisting in re-education of weak muscles, decreasing pain and swelling, assist in improving range of motion, help in removal of hemorrhages, assisting in joint function, reduces muscle fatigue and limiting over contraction and extension of the muscle tissue.
At Diamond Peak Physical Therapy, PC, we offer Kinesio Taping by a CKTP (Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner).