Kinesiology Taping in Physical Therapy
Have you ever heard of kinesiology tape? You’ve probably seen it before if you’ve ever watched the Olympics! Athletes that have pretty colored tape on their back, shoulders or legs are using kinesiology tape. Some people think that they wear it just to stand out, however it does actually serve a purpose. The tape is made out of 100% cotton, and contains no latex. Some people who have an allergy to adhesive might have some irritation of the skin, however there are different barriers that can be used to help minimize a reaction.
What can kinesiology tape help with? Tape can be used for weak muscles, tight muscles, posture, foot drop, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, edema control by improving circulation, patellofemoral pain syndrome and much more. Kinesiology tape is NOT the same as athletic tape. Athletic tape is used to restrict motion where kinesiology tape is used to facilitate motion and inhibit pain. While they are both used for support, athletic tape is inflexible where kinesiology tape is flexible allowing you to continue with normal movements. Our goal with the tape is to get patients longer lasting relief after they leave our clinic.
How does it work? The tape is stretchy, so it acts on and pulls on the skin to manipulate the muscles underneath. There is a variation of how much stretch is applied to the tape, depending on the result wanted by your Physical Therapist. When there is pain or improper movement in a muscle, there is usually disequilibrium somewhere in the muscle fibers, meaning some are overworking and some are under working. It is believed that the tape helps to balance out the work being performed within the muscle. The result is a properly functioning muscle that can be strengthened without pain. Once the muscle is strong and pain-free, the tape is no longer needed.
Who can benefit from kinesiology tape? Everyone! Kinesiology tape can be used on everyone from pediatrics to geriatrics. There are different brands of tape that would be better for different populations, but there is something out there for everyone. If you are experiencing muscle pain or any of the conditions named above, give us a call! We would love to see what kinesiology tape can do for you!
– Written by Anna Harem, PTA