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Archive for September, 2010

Kinesio TapingNow that you know what kinesiology tape is and the different types that are available, the logical next step is to educate you about how it is used. Kinesiology taping takes a completely different approach to athletic taping than the rigid, immobilizing sports tapes most athletes are familiar with. This approach evolved from the desire of many athletes to continue to train and compete as they recovered from their injuries. While rigid taping techniques make this difficult because of the immobilization of the injured areas, the elasticity of kinesiology tape allows an effective taping to be accomplished without restricting a normal range of motion. This reduces the need to compensate with uninvolved muscle groups, which can negatively effect both function and performance.

Kinesiology Taping for Achilles or Calf InjuryFirst introduced by the makers of Kinesio Tex Tape as the Kinesio Taping Method, the technique involves applying tape directly over an injured area, as well as around its perimeter. In most cases, the muscles should be held in a stretched position while the tape is applied. Unless the goal is to provide structural support, the tape itself does not usually require additional stretching as it is applied. The natural elasticity of the tape creates a microscopic lifting action of the skin, which activates both neurological and circulatory healing mechanisms. Reduced pressure on pain receptors can rapidly relieve acute pain, while improved blood flow and lymphatic drainage reduce swelling and facilitate healing.

With slight variations in taping technique, kinesiotaping can accomplish all of the following:

  1. Provide structural support to joints and muscles without restricting a healthy range of motion.
  2. Correct improper muscle function by providing neurosensory feedback during movement.
  3. Relieve pain from both acute injuries and chronic pain conditions.
  4. Reduce swelling and inflammation through enhanced lymphatic drainage.
  5. Accelerate healing via improved blood flow to injured tissues.
  6. Prevent overuse and overcontraction of  working muscles.
  7. Accelerate recovery from intense exercise.
  8. Reestablish normal muscle activation following an injury.
  9. Increase muscle tone in injured or neurologically inhibited muscles.
  10. Delay fatigue and improve endurance through enhanced muscle ‘snap back.’

kinesiology-tapeRunning a website that sells kinesiology tape and writing a kinesiology taping blog keeps me up to date on taping terminology. With all of the brand names, generic terms and even mis- spellings, it can be difficult to keep all of today’s “kinesio” terms straight. Whether you’re a newcomer or a seasoned kinesiology taping professional, you should find the following kinesio glossary useful.

Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology Tape is a generic term for a thin, stretchy therapeutic tape that comes in assorted sizes, colors and configurations. Best known as an athletic tape  or sports injury tape, it is also widely used in medical and rehabilitation settings such as physical therapy clinics, chiropractic practices and hospitals.

Kinesiology Tape Brands

There are currently 4 major manufacturers offering quality kinesiology taping products both domestically and internationally. They are Kinesio® Tape , KT Tape™, RockTape and SpiderTech™ Tape.

Kinesiology Tape Rolls

kinesiology-tape-rollsRolls of kinesiology tape come in assorted lengths and widths. The most common size is the 2″ x 16′ single roll, which all of the major kinesiology tape brands offer. Several manufacturers also offer bulk rolls rolls that are 2″ wide and 105′ (Kinesio Tape, RockTape) or 125′ long (KT Tape).RockTape also offers 4″ wide rolls in both single and bulk roll sizes.
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Precut Kinesiology Tape Strips

Precut Kinesiology Tape StripsKT Tape offers rolls of tear-off, precut strips in 5″, 10″ and 18″ strip lengths. The 5″ and 10″ strips are perforated longitudinally, allowing them to be applied in either “I” or a “Y” formations – the two most common application techniques. Precut strips eliminate most of the cutting that is required to apply kinesiology tape from rolls.

More recently, SpiderTech introduced SpiderTech PowerStrips, precut X, Y and I strips in convenient accordion-packs. The X and Y strips are 2″ wide by 8″ long, and the I strips are 1″ wide by 6″ long.

.Precut Kinesiology Tape Applications

SpiderTech Precut Kinesiology TapeSpiderTech is the only brand that offers individually packaged applications, already precut for different parts of the body. The step by step instructions included in each package allow even those with no kinesiology taping experience to apply the 16 different “Spiders.”
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Kinesio® Tape

Although Kinesio® Tape and Kinesio Tex® Tape are both trademarked brand names, these terms have become to kinesiology taping what Xerox is to photocopying. Many people now use the term Kinesio Tape to refer to kinesiology tape in general, which isn’t a bad thing at all for Kinesio® sales! Common misspellings I have seen in search terms include kinesiotape, kinisiotape, and so on.

Where to Buy Kinesiology Tape

Each of the manufacturers and many medical supply companies now sell kinesiology tape. Many sites, however, sell only to licensed health professionals. Theratape.com is the only website specializing in kinesiology tape and carrying a complete line of products from all 4 major brands. Theratape also provides a comprehensive Education Center with detailed information on each of the brands, plus instructional videos and printable application instructions. No registration is required to purchase from Theratape, and all educational resources are available free of charge.

Theratape Coupon

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Finger JamVolleyball and basketball seasons go hand in hand (pun intended) with jammed fingers. A finger jam occurs when a ball makes contact directly on the tip of the finger. The force is transmitted through the fingertip to the knuckles. Although the initial pain is felt in the fingertip, it is usually one of the knuckles that is more seriously injured. Depending on the severity of the sprain, the knuckle may end up bruised,  swollen and excruciatingly painful.

Athletes who want to continue playing with a finger jam injury need to provide support to the injured area. Restrictive taping, however, can interfere with touch and the ability to control the ball. This is the type of situation where kinesiology tape can provide the perfect balance between mobility and support. The elasticity of kinesiology tape allows it to provide support to joints or muscles without restricting range of motion as traditional athletic tape does.

KT Tape is a major kinesiology tape brand in the US and internationally. Following are some very simple instructions for applying KT Tape quickly and effectively to a jammed finger.

Taping a Finger Jam with KT Tape - 1Step 1: Cut a strip of KT Tape that is 1/2″ to 1″ wide and 6″ to 8″ long, depending on the size of the finger. Tear the backing in the middle of the tape and peel it back toward the ends. With the finger straight, anchor the middle of the tape on the pad of the injured finger and run one end of the tape along the inside of the finger.

Taping a Jammed Finger with KT Tape - 2Step 2: With the finger bent as much as possible. apply the other end of the tape along the top of the finger, ending on the top of the hand above the last knuckle. Do not stretch the tape as it is applied. When finished, rub the taped area gently to activate the adhesive. The finger will feel as though it is being gently pulled into an extended position.

The tape should be applied at least an hour before exercise or showering.

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