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Archive for the ‘Athletic Injuries’ Category

airrosti-logoAirrosti (Applied Integration for the Rapid Recovery of Soft Tissue Injuries) is a unique approach to treating injuries to the soft tissues of the body. Based in Texas, Airrosti initially focused on the elite athlete population and rapidly gained a reputation for helping athletes recover from strains, sprains and overuse injuries in record time. Their track record is impressive – the average recovery time from common strains and sprains is 1-3 visits.

I have been anxious to personally experience Airrosti for a couple of reasons: (1) I’m prone to soft tissue injuries and am always looking for anything that will get me back on the tennis courts sooner, and (2) I’d heard that virtually everyone who goes for an Arrosti treatment leaves with kinesiology tape applied to the area being treated. My recent flare up of iliotibial band syndrome (IT Band) provided the perfect opportunity to visit my local Airrosti provider.

I had been forewarned that the treatments could be extremely painful, and that proved to be true. The “manual therapy” part of the treatment involves hands-on manipulation of the fascia, the fibrous tissue that surrounds and connects every other tissue in the body. Fascia can become tightened, twisted or distorted as a result of trauma or overuse, and will remain that way unless manually corrected. Airrosti providers manipulate the fascia through deep, hands-on “massage” with their thumbs. In my case, this involved tracing the entire length of my iliotibial tract and quadriceps muscles, beginning at the knee and ending at the hip. I quickly developed a nice set of “racing stripes” as I bruised under the pressure of the manipulation. However, being an athlete familiar with the pain of injuries as well as the pain of rehab, I immediately knew that this was the “good” kind of pain, associated with the release of tissues to a healthier state.

A peek into the supply cupboard showed a good supply of the three major brands of kinesiology tape – Kinesio Tape, SpiderTech Tape and RockTape. I had the privilege of being the first patient taped with Airrosti’s new private-labeled RockTape. The black Rock Tape with the Airrosti name and logo in white made quite a fashion statement as I left in my shorts.

What makes kinesiology taping such a great fit for Airrosti?

  • rocktape-ITB-tapingThe improved lymphatic drainage will help minimize swelling and bruising of the treated tissues
  • The enhanced blood flow to the injured tissues supports more rapid healing
  • The lifting action of the tape on the skin decreases pressure on pain receptors, making both the injury and the effects of the treatment less painful
  • Kinesiology tape provides support for injured muscles or joints while still allowing a full, healthy range of movement, an important component in rehab

After only one Airrosti treatment, I was able to complete my next run with no ITB pain. I’ll return for two additional treatments next week to complete the process. And, in the meantime, I’ll be a walking, running, tennis playing advertisement for both Airrosti and Rock Tape!

One of the most critical time periods during recovery from a sports injury is the return to activity. During this phase of recovery, athletes may face a number of challenges:

  • pain in the injured area or in structures supporting the injured area
  • loss of strength due to muscle inhibition
  • unhealthy movement patterns resulting from protective mechanisms
  • inefficient or unbalanced movement patterns related to compensation from other muscle groups
  • fear of engaging full range of motion

Any of these issues can delay an athlete’s return to full functioning, or even contribute to additional injuries. Fortunately, this is where kinesiology taping truly shines. A well-applied kinesio taping application can address all of these issues and more.

I recently returned from the PowerTaping certification seminar conducted by RockTape. In this seminar I learned about a 3-step taping protocol that is ideal for athletes who are returning from an injury or who need to continue training or competing with an injury. This taping technique can be done using any of the major kinesiology tape brands – Kinesio Tex Tape, RockTape or SpiderTape.

preload_stretchInjury Taping Step 1

Preload the muscles by placing the affected area into a position of maximal stretch. Take your time with this step – it puts the tissues into a condition to receive maximum benefit from the tape application. Active techniques could include dynamic stretching, yoga poses or myofacial release techniques (rollers, balls, etc.).

Once the maximal stretch has been achieved, this position should be held throughout the taping.

decompression_stripInjury Taping Step 2

Apply one or more “decompression” strips directly over the most painful areas. This technique involves applying a fully stretched (except for the ends) strip horizontally across the affected muscle group. For large areas, several strips can be applied.

The lifting action on the skin will provide pain relief and enhance local circulation to reduce inflammation and keep the tissues well-oxygenated.

final_tapingInjury Taping Step 3

Apply “stabilization” strips around the perimeter of the affected area. This is a good place to use Y-strips, with the base at the lower end of the muscle group and the tails running vertically around the outer boundaries of the muscles.

This part of the taping will support the injured area, while still allowing a full range of motion. In addition, the sensory feedback from the tape will discourage the athlete from engaging in harmful or inefficient compensatory movement patterns.

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plantaris_tendon_1I recently had the dubious privilege of experiencing one of the signature injuries of the tennis world – a ruptured plantaris tendon. This injury is, in fact, so common among tennis players that is is referred to as “tennis leg.”

The plantaris is a long, thin tendon that runs from just above the knee to the back of the heel.  A plantaris rupture feels just like getting hit in the calf with a hard serve. My first clue that I had a plantaris injury came when I checked behind me and noted that I was still alone on my side of the court – no phantom server, no rolling ball. My second clue came when I attempted to take a step and instead, collapsed in pain.

plantaris_tapingLuckily, I was able to get immediate treatment that included cold laser, ultrasound and, of course, Kinesio Taping. Although I’m known as Tape Expert, this was my first opportunity to actually use Kinesio Tex Tape with an acute (and incredibly painful) injury. My initial taping was a multicolored criss cross “microcirculatory” or lymphatic taping designed to reduce the swelling and bruising. After a few days, I graduated to a “neurosensory” taping that dramatically relieved the pain whenever I put weight on my injured leg.

I’m happy to report that, within two and a half weeks, I was back on the courts – this time with a “structural” application, designed to provide support for my traumatized calf muscles, while still allowing me to move freely through a full range of motion. Within a month, I was back running and playing tennis on my typical manic schedule, with no taping required and no pain or swelling.

I now refer to my experience with tennis leg as the “best bad injury” I ever had.

Watch for my next three posts, which will provide additional detail on the three taping techniques that I used Kinesio Tex Tape for: (1) the microcirculatory or lymphatic taping technique for relief of swelling, edema and bruising, (2) the neurosensory or decompression taping technique for pain relief, and (3) the structural or compression taping technique for providing support to injured or recovering muscles.

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rocktape_team_in_training_tapeRockTape, the kinesiology tape company that introduced the athletic world to the concept of performance taping, recently unveiled a special Team in Training kinesiology tape. The tape is imprinted with the distinctive purple and green logo of Team in Training (TNT), a fundraising arm of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS).

team_in_training_athleteTeam in Training offers comprehensive coaching and training programs to help people prepare for endurance competitions such as marathons, half marathons, triathlons, century rides and hiking adventures. Participants in a local area train as a group and then travel together to the competition. Founded in 1988, TNT has grown into the world’s largest endurance sport training program.

The partnership between Team in Training and Rock Tape is a natural fit. Rock Tape is a special type of sports tape that can relieve the pain and inflammation of athletic injuries and accelerate the healing process. The thin, stretchy athletic tape can be comfortably worn for up to a week, allowing many injured athletes to continue to train and/or compete as they recover. Given the injury rate among endurance athletes, it seems that a roll of RockTape should be a staple in every sports bag.

In addition, Rock Tape has recently introduced a new performance taping protocol called PowerTaping, that can safely (and legally) enhance athletic performance. This kinesio taping technique involves applying tape to the entire “chain” of muscles, joints and fascia that contribute to a specific movement. Athletes competing in marathons, triathlons and other high performance events have experienced less fatigue and enhanced muscle activation throughout their competitions.

RockTape is donating $2 from the sale of every roll of Team in Training kinesiology tape to the Team in Training organization to assist in their mission to eradicate leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma.

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st_hamstring_logo

The SpiderTech Tape company has created a comprehensive line of precut kinesiology tape applications for different parts of the body. Each application comes individually packaged with illustrated step-by-step instructions. These therapeutic tape products provide a convenient and inexpensive way for non-health professionals to apply kinesiology tape effectively. This is the second in a series of blogs describing the different SpiderTech applications, their uses and how to apply them.

 SpiderTech Hamstring Spider Benefits 

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♦ Relieves pain and swelling from hamstring injuries
♦ Speeds recovery after intense exercise
♦ Provides protection as hamstring  injuries heal
♦ Improves strength of injured hamstring muscles
♦ Provides support without restricting range of motion
♦ Prevents or relieves cramps, spasms or stiffness
♦ Assists with hamstring/quadriceps imbalance
♦♦♦♦

Application Instructions for Pre-Cut Hamstring Kinesiology Tape

Begin by tearing all of the perforations on the backing of the tape. Clean the skin with soap and water or rubbing alcohol before applying tape.

st_hamstring_instruction1. Subject should be lying on stomach with leg relaxed. Remove half of the backing from section 1 and apply to the rear thigh, directly below the gluteal fold. Repeat with the other half of section 1. Gently rub the tape to activate the adhesive.

2. Place the hamstring muscles in a stretched position by having subject lie on side with leg straight and stretched forward. Begin peeling the backing from section 2 and apply directly over the hamstring muscles. It is not necessary to stretch the tape as it is applied.

3. With the hamstring muscles still stretched, remove the paper backing from the outer arm of section 2 and apply the tape directly over the center of the injured groin area. Rub each section of tape immediately after applying to activate the glue.

4. Remove the backing from the final arm of section 2 and apply it along the lower boundary of the groin muscles with no additional stretch in the tape. Patient can now relax the leg and move freely. Avoid exercise or bathing for one hour after applying the precut kinesio tape to allow the adhesive to fully set.

How to Apply Kinesiology Tape.

My next post will include the application video for the SpiderTech Groin SpiderTape.

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Night Train Tea Uses SpiderTech
The Gold Medal run of the Night Train with Steve Holcomb’s World Champion USA1 4-man bobsled team may have had some friendly “spiders” along for the ride. Shortly before the Vancouver Olympics, the US Bobsled and Skeleton Federation finalized a two-year sponsorship with SpiderTech, global leader in precut kinesiology tape technology.

SpiderTech products were used before and during the 2010 Winter Olympics, and will continue to provide therapeutic support to elite American bobsledders and skeleton athletes in future competitions. USBSF CEO, Darrin Steele, commented that SpiderTech products will “create a competitive advantage, both on the field and in recuperation.”

precut_kinesiology_tapeKinesiology tape is now used by athletes of all ages and levels because of its amazing ability to relieve pain, reduce swelling and inflammation and accelerate healing. Most important to competitive athletes is the fact that this is accomplished without restricting range of motion. This allows athletes to continue to train and compete normally as they recover from many injuries, without worrying about developing secondary injuries from compensatory movement patterns related to restrictive taping.

Precut kinesiology tape, made by SpiderTech, is a perfect choice for those who want the benefits of kinesiology taping, but have no training in cutting and applying tape from rolls. Each SpiderTech application is pre-cut for a specific body part. The back of each application is labeled and numbered, making it easy to follow the step-by-step instructions included in every package. Currently, there are 16 different applications available for virtually every part of the body. Individual packages are convenient to carry and apply. No scissors or cutting are required – just open the package and put it on.

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Let’s face it, thigh muscles take a beating in every sport that involves running, jumping or cycling. Muscle strains, muscle fatigue, muscle cramps, charley horses and even plain old (but painful) muscle stiffness can really take a toll on the quadriceps muscles in the front of the thigh.

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy therapeutic tape that is particularly effective for relieving muscular pain, spasms and inflammation. Used as both a therapeutic medical tape and a sports tape, it can be applied to any of the above conditions, providing rapid relief of pain and inflammation. This allows many injured athletes to continue to train and compete as they recover from these types of injuries and overuse syndromes. Once applied, most kinesiology tape applications can be worn up to 5 days, providing therapeutic benefits 24/7 the entire time they’re worn.

This is part of a series of posts on how to apply kinesiology tape. focusing on simple, yet effective, kinesiology taping techniques that virtually anyone can master. They were developed by the makers of RockTape, a new brand of kinesiology tape that has been engineered to enhance athletic performance in addition to providing therapeutic benefits.

How to Tape the Quadricips with RockTape Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology Taping for Thigh Injuries

 

Kinesiology Taping Application Tips

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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kts_elbow_pain_2For most recreational tennis players, tennis season is back in full swing after an extended break between Thanksgiving and late January. For many, taking a break for a few weeks was just what they needed to recover from nagging overuse injuries such as tennis elbow. Unfortunately, tennis elbow is one of those maladies that can rear its ugly head at any time, being triggered by a new racquet, a technique change, or even a workout with old, heavy balls. This is the type of injury that is perfectly suited for kinesiology taping.

For players with tennis elbow (or anyone else afflicted with lateral epicondylitis), kinesiology taping can relieve pain, reduce inflammation and accelerate the healing process. It soothes and supports those overused forearm muscles, as well as their attachment on the lateral epicondyle – the bump on the outside of the elbow. One of the most loved features of kinesiology taping for tennis elbow is that most players can continue to play and compete as they heal.

Following is a simple kinesiology taping technique for tennis elbow, presented by RockTape, a new kinesiology tape designed for performance athletes.

Kinesiology Taping Instructions for Tennis Elbow

rt_instructions_tennis_elbow

 

Kinesiology Taping Application Tips

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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justine_henin_au_open_1After a year and a half away from the tour, Justine Henin is staging an amazing comeback to the top ranks of women’s professional tennis. She recently made it to the final of the Australian Open, being defeated by Serena Williams. Throughout her matches, she wore kinesiology tape on her left inner thigh, probably for a strained adductor (groin muscle).

Kinesiology taping is being embraced by athletes and trainers the world over because of its ability to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and provide support without restricting range of motion. This allows athletes with injuries such as muscle strains or overuse syndromes to continue to train and/or compete as they recover.

Because kinesiology tape is so thin and elastic, it can be worn 5-7 days, providing therapeutic benefits the entire time it is worn. This is very different from conventional athletic tape which must be removed immediately after exercise. Another difference between kinesiology tape and  conventional sports tape is the taping technique. Whereas sports tape is usually wrapped tightly around an injured muscle or joint, kinesiology tape almost never completely encircles any part of the body. Instead, it is applied over and around the affected muscle groups, as seen in the above image. This allows it to lift the skin, increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage, and relieving pressure on pain receptors under the skin.

Kinesiology tape is available in rolls or in precut kinesiology tape configurations for specific parts of the body.

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Shoulder pain is one of the most frustrating maladies to experience, because once you get it, it can be extremely difficult to get rid of. It’s virtually impossible to stop using your shoulder so you can recover from a strain or injury. Every time you wash your hair in the shower or reach up into a cupboard you’re aggravating the condition. Athletes who throw, spike volleyballs or use racquets may tweak a shoulder strain hundreds of times, just in the course of a practice or competition. Consequently, what started as a minor strain can easily become a chronic problem.

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy athletic tape that is particularly effective for relieving muscular pain, spasms and inflammation. Used as both a therapeutic medical tape and a sports tape, it can be applied to an injury such as strained shoulder muscles, providing rapid relief of pain and inflammation. This allows many injured athletes to continue to train and compete as they recover from this type of overuse syndrome. Once applied, most kinesiology tape applications can be worn up to 5 days, providing therapeutic benefits 24/7 the entire time they’re worn.

This is part of a series of posts presenting simple, yet effective, kinesiology taping techniques that virtually anyone can master. They were developed by the makers of RockTape, a new brand of kinesiology tape that has been engineered to enhance athletic performance in addition to providing therapeutic benefits.

Kinesiology Taping for Shoulder Pain

rt_instructions_shoulder

 

Kinesiology Tape Application Tips

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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