Kinesio Taping Happy Valley & Sandy, OR

Kinesio Taping

Kinesio taping (K-Tape, ROCK Tape, KT Tape) has become much more visible in recent years. One of the first big pushes came after beach volleyball players wore it at the Sydney Olympic Games. Since then, you have likely seen athletes, gym-goers, and even pregnant women using the colorful muscle tape in strategic positions in efforts to ease pressure on their joints and alleviating pain. The theory behind Kinesio tape is a union of old-school pain management strategies and state-of-the-art medical technology, utilizing aspects of acupressure and strategic physical therapy by placing elastic tape around problematic areas. The tape exudes a pulling force on the skin.

While using tape to wrap injured areas is not inherently new, the use of Kinesio tape is different. Kinesio tape is elastic based tape, allowing it to move with you instead of blocking motion. This type of kinesiology tape can be purchased through your physical therapist or at a local sporting goods store and comes in a roll of tape in a variety of colors. The tape is cut to fit the area in need of tactile cues and lasts all day. Unlike a standard ACE bandage, Kinesio tape is single use so there is no need to wash it and doesn’t wear out since it is replaced. Kinesio tape works on the principle that if you change how you move through gentle reminders during the activity you can modify pain, performance and even change everyday patterns.

The adhesive component in kinesiology tape is activated by body heat, meaning that as soon as your physical therapist applies the taping system, it will begin working. Yet the cotton fibers that also comprise the material breaths. That means that sweating and getting the area wet isn’t as much of an issue as it was with traditional bandages injured athletes and other patients were once given.

Kinesio Taping for Injuries and Chronic Pain

Kinesio tape is most frequently used by athletes—especially those who engage in prolonged activities. Runners especially are drawn to Kinesio taping, as the technique is incredibly low-profile and unlikely to get in the way of their running stride. However, Kinesio tape can benefit many people outside of the athletic world, and certainly stretches beyond supporting runners. Those who experience wrist pain after typing all day, or who experience back pain due to their job may also benefit from utilizing Kinesio tape.

Common conditions our trained physical therapists often treat with kinesiology taping include:

Many pregnant women are also using this method of athletic taping, especially for their back, knees, and even lower abdominal muscles during the third trimester to alleviate some of the additional pressure on the body during pregnancy. Ensure that you talk with a physical therapist for guidance before attempting to use athletic taping for any reason, but especially before taking any action for pain relief when pregnant.

What is the science behind kinesiology taping?

The goal of Kinesio tape is to enhance awareness at targeted areas, thereby reducing pain and improving recovery time following an injury. Kinesio tape works off the science of kinesiology (the study of movement), which is a fundamental aspect of physical therapy. The taping creates a pulling action that helps give your brain subtle feedback as you move, building upon the concepts practiced in physical therapy.

The tape works by gently sliding the skin and other shallow layers, pulling it across your muscles, thereby improving fluid flow and increased sensation of movement. This improved fluid flow can lessen swelling and speeds healing. When fluid flow is the goal, a “basket woven” pattern is used which may improve the amount of tissue mobilization with daily activities. Your physical therapist can teach you exact taping methods that will be best for you.

For Kinesio tape to work effectively, the tape must be applied in strategic ways. Simply putting a bit of tape on your leg or elbow isn’t going to make much of a difference. However, when a physical therapist applies the tape in a specific way that it is designed to follow movement as you move through your day, then the tape can effectively improve healing and reduce pain.

The best wrapping technique changes depending on the part of the body in need of attention. Physical therapists are trained in the best ways to tape different parts of the body. Determining the exact placement and shaping of the kinesiology tape. Attempting to apply the tape yourself, without any guidance is likely to be minimally or not effective. It is important to receive guidance and training from a physical therapist when first applying Kinesio tape. You should expect to be able to tape yourself after an initial education.

When properly applied — and after the patient has been carefully evaluated — muscle taping often allows athletes to get back on the field. Other injured patients find their daily activities made easier, with the support of the taping holding tender areas in place, and preventing overuse of problematic joints and muscles.

If any of these complaints sound similar to yours, call our office for an appointment. Our expert team of physical therapist will evaluate you for the best therapies, including kinesiology taping, to target your injuries. For more information, Contact us at Happy Valley & Sandy, OR centers.