Dr. Tom is applying Theraband Kinesiology Tape to take pressure off the shoulder and neck.

What is it Kinesiology Taping?

Kinesiology Taping is a therapeutic tool that is scientifically designed to stimulate blood flow. It is made out a woven blend of cotton and elastic with single side adhesive. Channels are manufactured into the sticky side of the tape. This helps to promote circulation when applied correctly.

What are the benefits of Kinesiology Taping?

This special tape helps to manage pain and change the muscle activity according to how it’s applied. Because Kinesiology Tape can be used for difference reasons, the benefits vary, but include:

  • Improving blood flow
  • Reducing pain
  • Stabilizing joints
  • Boosting muscle activity
  • Relaxing muscle tension
  • Reducing scar tissue
  • Reducing adhesions

How does Kinesiology Taping work?

Kinesiology Tape works by applying it to the skin over a muscle or joint and adhering to the body. Each end of the tape is called an anchor. When the first anchor is adhered, the tape is then stretched along the length of the muscle. The other anchor is pressed down which will naturally create a tension pulling on the skin back to the first anchor. This pulling on the skin creates a lift-effect with the channels opening pathways for circulation.

The tape works in another way as well. Receptors below the skin sense the stretch and communicate the message to the brain. A return message is sent from the brain to the muscles that will either relax or engage the muscles. A trained PT knows which direction to pull the tape to create the appropriate effect needed.

Expect to feel a change from the tape. It can actually feel better once the tape is applied. Other times it can take a couple of sessions to feel a difference.

When would you use Kinesiology Taping?

  • Joint hyper mobility, subluxations, or dislocations
  • Muscle spasms, tight or shortened muscles
  • Pain in muscles, tendons, or ligaments
  • Muscle weakness, muscle fatigue or tired muscles
  • Acute pain
  • Chronic pain
  • Over productive scar formation
  • Inflammation
  • Bruising
  • Swelling

Who does Kinesiology Taping help?

Kinesiology Tape helps people who are injured, but need to keep active. You can have tape applied without feeling restricted in movement. It gives a gentle hug that brings more awareness to the injured part. So it is ideal for anyone with symptoms while an injury is healing.

Tape can be helpful for many conditions, however it is not meant to treat diagnoses, it is applied to help solve a symptom problem. Here is a list of the common diagnoses that respond well:

  • Shoulder Tendinitis
  • Hip Bursitis
  • Knee Sprains
  • Back Strains
  • Carpal Tunnel Sydrome
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Patellofemoral Syndrome
  • Thoracic Outle Syndrome

How does My PT practice Kinesiology Taping?

Currently we use Theraband and Rocktape brands in a few color choices. First, Dr. Tom will select the correct size of the tape and cut to length. The ends of the tape are rounded with scissors to prevent peeling off after application. Then, the muscle is put on stetch while the anchors are applied with an appropriate amount of tension to the tape. Finally, the tape is rubbed back and forth with a flat hand so the adhesive becomes activated. As long is the tape is comfortable, it can be worn for 5 days or so.

What can I expect during a treatment?

Clients will need to have the body part we’re working on exposed so the tape can be applied directly to the skin. Wearing loose fitting clothes, shorts, T-shirt, or sports bra can help expose the area to tape. If Kinesiology Tape is recommended, but the area to adhere the tape is hairy, the client will be asked to shave the area before the next session. Tape does not work over hair because it does not stick to the skin, a crucial part for the tape to work.

The tape can be worn in the shower or bath. Water may actually reinforce the adhesive properties in the tape. Drying off after bathing should be done carefully because a towel can pull the tape off. The same goes for dressing and working around in bed under the covers. If the tape begins to peel, try to press it back down to the skin. Should the tape peel back and not stick, it is a good idea to carefully trim the end and leave what is left on the body.

To remove the tape after it wears out of support, pull slowly from one end. Do not pull fast. Remember this tape is elastic and it will stretch out long when pulling. Place two fingers against the skin underneath the tape is you pull it back inch by inch. With each pull, move your fingers closer to the tape to hold the skin down while removing the tape. It makes it easier and more comfortable. Keep in mind, small hairs may get pulled on, too. For people having trouble removing tape that sticks too well, try removing with soapy water while bathing.

Are there any side effects?

There can be cases when the tape makes symptoms worse. Clients would notice this either immediately or within 1-2 days. Just remove the tape if that happens. Dr. Tom has seen this in situations when the tape was applied the wrong way or too tight.

Some people are sensitive to adhesive tape. If you have a known allergy then it may not be used. Once in a while, a client will discover they have sensitivity to the adhesive. Symptoms of a sensitivity may include redness, itching or burning. Remove the tape and it should resolve in hours.

If the reaction gets worse to by showing hives, difficulty breathing, or difficulty swallowing, you may be having a serious side effect call anaphylaxis. Get emergency help immediately by calling 911.

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