Kinesio Taping

Kinesio Taping

Kinesio taping is a method used to help normalize the function of muscles and other connective tissues.  Our therapists are trained in Kinesio taping for both spinal and extremity conditions. We may use taping as a part of your therapy, and also offer tape for your ongoing use at home.

Kineso taping uses elastic tape rather than the rigid tape traditionally used in sports.  The elastic properties of this tape help in many ways:

  • Improve contraction of a weakened muscle
  • Reduce muscle fatigue and spasm
  • Reduce over-stretching and over-contraction of muscles
  • Re-educate muscles through sensory feedback
  • Lessen edema (swelling) through aiding the lymphatic system
  • Minimize post-traumatic or post-surgical bruising through improved circulation
  • Help mobilize scar tissue by enhancing glide between tissue layers
  • Help correct joint mechanics through aiding muscle function around the joint
  • Relieve pain by activating the natural analgesic system in our skin receptors 

With the 2012 Olympics in the spotlight, kinesio taping is once again being talked about for athletes.  See the article in for more details.

    As a part of physical therapy
    Kinesio taping is best used as an adjunct to therapy and exercise.  It can dramatically speed the rehabilitation process by lessening pain and improving tolerance to exercise and movement.  The success of Kinesio taping strongly depends on clinician knowledge. A thorough evaluation is integral to determine which taping techniques are indicated.  For instance, the clinician must know if the patient needs taping to assist muscle strengthening or to assist muscle relaxation, as the taping will be different. A good physical therapy program goes hand-in-hand with good taping.

Olympic cyclist Lance Armstrong reports benefits of Kinesio Taping
in USA Today article.  Read it >>

Kinesiotaping was initiated in the 1970’s in Japan by Dr. Kenso Kase. Dr. Kase was intrigued with kinesiology and conservative ways of treating traumatized soft tissue. Through tape and technique developments, Dr. Kase accomplished his goal:  To have patients experience immediate improvement after one visit.

1984:  Established Japanese National Kinesio Taping Association
1988: Used by Japanese National Volleyball Association in 1988 Olympics
1995: Appeared in the US through National Athletic Trainers Association
1997:  Began use by physical therapists
2001:  Approval of Medicare billing code for taping

PTProducts Online artice "Sticking to Rehab" talks about the different types of kinesio taping. 

Elastic tape properties
Elastic tape stretches to approximately 140% of its original length.  It has no latex and can be worn in the shower. The thickness and weight approximate that of skin, making it very comfortable.  A frequent remark from patients wearing Kinesio tape is “I could hardly tell it was there…except for how much better I felt!”

Elastic tape differs from rigid tape in many ways. While rigid tape is still used effectively for many reasons, elastic tape is being recognized for the unique way it addressed clinical problems (see table below.) If you would like a consultation or demonstration, please contact our office.

Additional information is available from the Kinesio Taping Association.  Visit their Web site >>

  Rigid Tape Elastic Tape

Clinical Comparisons
muscle weakness holds/tightens improves via elastic input
pain immobilizes area stimulates analgesics in the skin
muscle spasm unloads/holds relaxes through shortening
swelling may restrict fluid flow assists fluid flow
range of motion limits motion enhances motion
joint mechanics immobilizes gives input to joint receptors

Other Considerations
length of wear 1-2 days several days
perception restrictive minimally perceivable

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