How Kinesio Taping Can Help You
Mon, 01/17/2011 - 8:50am | Karen Danish
Lance Armstrong wore it while cycling to victory in the Tour de France. It can be seen peeking out of the uniform of Boston Celtics basketball star Kevin Garnett. It’s the brightly-colored adornment that caught international attention when American beach volleyball player Kerri Walsh wore it during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics.
It’s not a flashy accessory or fashion statement, and it’s not just for pro athletes. It’s called Kinesio Tape and the taping method associated with it is being used to treat a wide variety of problems – from neurological issues to orthopedic issues to sports injuries.
Kinesio Taping was developed in 1975 by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase and first came to the United States in 1995. The taping method is designed to aid the body’s natural healing process while allowing support and stability to the muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion. Kinesio Tape is made of cotton fiber with a medical-grade acrylic adhesive that is totally latex free. It’s designed to be worn for three to five days at a time.
Kinesio Tape is specifically applied to an individual based on his or her rehabilitation needs. The application of Kinesio Tape varies upon the individual’s condition and phase of recovery. The way we cut the tape, the direction we put it on, as well as the amount of stretch we put on the tape all influence the effectiveness of Kinesio Tape. It takes specialized training to help patients achieve their goals, so Kinesio Taping should be done by a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner.
In my time as a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner and Instructor (I have been using Kinesio Tape since 1999, and I am the only Certified Kinesio Taping Instructor in Pennsylvania), I have seen the technique work wonders.
Kinesio Taping can be used for many rehabilitation processes. I’ve used it extensively to treat post-operative pain and swelling. The tape is especially good at decreasing swelling. When we can relieve swelling, pain is reduced and the patient can regain mobility quicker. This is key, because the sooner we can get a patient moving, the quicker he or she can recover.
Kinesio Taping can also help with tightness in muscles. It helps relax soft tissues while stimulating nerve fibers to control pain, and it helps re-educate muscles by influencing efficient muscle contraction. The Kinesio Taping Method can also be helpful for those who suffer from arthritis, pinched nerves, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and other common afflictions.
Although Kinesio Taping is not for every patient, it does accelerate the rehabilitation process. Kinesio Taping is not used in place of standard rehabilitation techniques but in addition to them to help facilitate those techniques. The method helps most patients see results quicker.