Kinesio Tape is used in rehabilitation and sports medicine; it was developed over 25 years ago in Japan by Dr. Kenzo Kase.
Kinesio is based on the principle that the body has built-in healing abilities and as health care practitioners we can help to influence and promote good healing, the tape provides longer term manipulation to the soft tissue increasing fluid flow and better muscle contraction, with reduced pain. The tape works on affecting the nervous and sensory systems.
Kinesio tape stretches in one direction and can stretch up to 60% of its normal length, the tape itself is much likened to skin and can therefore be tolerated better allowing for longer wear; because it does not contain latex and the adhesive is heat activated, it performs better in high moisture settings and can get wet, without losing its effectiveness.
|Kinesio tape is specifically applied to the injured area following an assessment; the tape is modified in the direction, cut and stretch applied to the tape. The direction is used to either facilitate muscle movement or inhibit muscle movement. Taping away from the muscle belly allows for muscle relaxation, hence toward the muscle belly increases tone and strengthens.|
There are five effects that the Kinesio taping methods achieve:
- Skin function: The stretching and contracting of the tape under movement stimulates sensory skin receptors. By stimulating the skin pain can be reduced by blocking pathways to the brain that send a pain signal. (like when you hit yourself on something you rub it).
- Circulatory/lymph: The skin fibers are directly connected to the lymphatic channels in the skin. Stimulating the skin fibers "opens up" the lymphatic channels by the pulling of the tape on the skin allowing fluid to move more freely. The rhythmical contraction and stretching mechanism of movement helps to improve the fluid flow by essentially "pumping" the lymphatic cells.
- Fascia; Fascia encompasses our bodies soft tissue, it helps to communicate injury and helps to facilitate repair. If the fascia is too tight within our body it reduces the bodies reaction and dampens a repair response; also if too tight it creates tension that will compensate elsewhere in the body. If this is not addressed, it promotes scarring within the body and restricts movement in the muscular system.
- Muscular system; The elastic properties of Kinesio Tape replicates and enhances the function of muscle fibers and tendons. The contractile components of the body are affected by stretch when registered in the tendons of these such muscles. Our body will react by reducing the amount of contraction, the nervous system overrides the signal, this is a protective mechanism built into the body. Using the Kinesio tape we can modulate this system to assist in reducing over-stretching that causes some injuries.
- Joints; proprioceptive sensation is activated through the ligament structures surrounding a joint. Reducing pain sensation, as discussed above, allows for reduced movement to help with protection of an injured joint.
Since the introduction of Kinesio Taping, medical practitioners around the world have recognized and embraced this effective, safe and best of all, easy-to-use modality.
The method and tape allow the individual to receive the therapeutic benefits 24 hours a day, for 3-5 days continuously, with both comfort and ease and it can be used at all stages of the rehabilitation process. The tape can be used around and over muscles/muscle groups to support and prevent over contraction.
Currently, Kinesio Taping is used in hospitals, physio clinics, high schools, by many professional sports teams and major sporting competitions (The Olympics, NFL, Major League Soccer Clubs, Major League Baseball, NRL, AFL, Netball, etc.)
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