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Kinesiotape

If you’ve suffered an injury to a muscle or joint, kinesiology tape is one mode of treatment your therapist may select to aid in your recovery. Many clients prefer taping over bracing or splinting because of its comfort and minimal restriction. Kinesiology taping consists of placing strips of elastic tape on an injured body part with specific direction and tension to support injured muscles, improve blood flow, improve lymphatic drainage, and reduce pain, swelling, and muscle fatigue.

Kinesiology tape offers sensory or structural muscular support to an injured or affected area and is most effective on acute injuries. By applying tape with a specific degree of stretch to an injured body part, a “fascial lift” is created. A fascia is a sheet of connective tissue that covers muscles and other body structures that is densely woven and interpenetrates nearly all structures of the body. Think of the thin clear film that covers a chicken breast. Trauma, inflammatory responses, and surgery can create high tensile pressures between the fascia and muscles subsequently restricting blood flow, lymphatic drainage, and fluid exchange while contributing to compression of surrounding neural structures. When properly applied, kinesiology tape can reduce the stress across these sites by “decompressing” the affected tissue while providing support and stability to a joint.

Clinical indications for the use of kinesiology tape include:

  • Swelling/edema
  • Circulation (blood/lymph)
  • Poor muscle activation
  • Muscle inhibition
  • Weakness/muscle fatigue
  • Tightness (improve range of motion)
  • Pain/inflammation

Kinesiology tape is generally safe for use in most people, but contraindications include:

  • Over open wounds or skin lesions
  • Adhesive allergies
  • Infants, toddlers, or children with communication issues
  • Diabetics
  • Geriatric population (fragile skin)
  • Pregnant abdomen
  • Blood/clotting disorders

General recommendations when using kinesiology tape:

  • Never blow dry the tape. The adhesive can heat quickly and burn the skin.
  • Be careful when removing the tape. The adhesive may be very strong, and rapidly or forcefully removing the tape from the skin may cause irritation.
  • Monitor your skin. The risk of skin reaction is typically low for most tapes however the skin should be closely monitored the first time kinesiology tape is utilized

Kinesiology tape, when combined with a comprehensive rehabilitation plan, is a great solution to help control pain and improve function.


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