Kinesio-Taping: Athlete Help or Hype
Have you ever noticed what looks like a weird tribal tattoo on professional athletes? You may have seen athletes during the Olympics, arms, legs and torsos covered in bright strips of color. Now, local athletes are adorning the “tattoo-like markings.” However, it’s not a tattoo but an actual, evidence-based approach to treating and/or preventing injuries to soft tissue. Kinesio-Taping is a method named after its founder, Dr. Kenzo Kase, and is based on using the body’s natural healing abilities.
Because of its unique ability to non-invasively treat and prevent injuries, Kinesio-Tape has taken the sports world by storm. In Lance Armstrong’s book, Every Second Counts, he states that the “magical” tape is “better than any laser, wrap or electric massager” [to name a few of his modalities]. Aside from sports, Kinesio-Tape can be applied at any time to conditions that plague people every day. Common conditions Kinesio-Tape can help include: neck and back pain, muscle pulls, strain/strains, whiplash, lymphedema, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, shoulder (rotator cuff) pain, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, and TMJ.
How it works
Unlike traditional rigid athletic taping, the elastic Kinesio-Tape does not restrict lymphatic flow or hinder the body’s natural movement. Rather, it is a non-restrictive type of taping which allows full range of motion. The elastic tape mimics the elasticity of muscle and microscopically lifts the skin from the underlying muscles, tendons, and bones allowing for improved circulation, lymphatic drainage and healing.
The tape is cut and stretched to different lengths for each individual patient’s specific body parts and condition.
Then it is strategically applied over muscles to reduce pain and inflammation.
Kinesio-Tape can be applied to either relax overused muscles or to stimulate muscles that are weak and underused. For patients that utilize massage therapy, chiropractic, or physical therapy, the elastic tape will support your natural body function, lengthening the amount of time needed between treatments without masking the symptoms. Kinesio-Tape lasts 3-5 days (can be worn in the shower), supporting muscle movement 24 hours a day.
In order for the Kinesio-Tape to produce effective results, placement and technique are crucial. Only a qualified chiropractor or other properly trained healthcare practitioner should apply Kinesio-Tape. Incorrect taping may actually cause adverse reactions. When applied correctly, the Kinesio-Taping Method, along with other chiropractic and physical therapies, can have you pain-free and functioning at 100%.