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Archive for the ‘Kinesiology Taping Benefits’ Category

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.’

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.

Pregnancy Shortness of BreathBy the third trimester of pregnancy, the uterus has expanded to fill the entire space between the pelvis and the breast bone. This puts a significant amount of pressure on the diaphragm, the band of muscle separating the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity. When unrestricted, the diaphragm moves up and down as it contracts and relaxes, pushing air in and out of the lungs. As the baby grows, it pushes up on the diaphragm, limiting its ability to move up and down. This is responsible for the shortness of breath most women experience towards the end of  pregnancy. Because the diaphragm contains many nerves, pressure applied to the diaphragm can cause also pain, not only in the diaphragm, but also referred pain in the ribs and even the shoulders.

The RockTape Kinesiology Tape company leads the field in kinesiology taping applications for pregnancy. A simple, inexpensive and safe technique to relieve diaphragm-related discomfort is to apply a strip of kinesiology tape around the upper perimeter of the baby bump. The following diagram and instructions are taken from the RockTape Pregnancy Applications poster, which details 12 different taping techniques for a variety of pregnancy-related discomforts.

1. Begin by cutting a strip of Rock Tape long enough to stretch around the entire upper border of the “baby bump.” Round the corners to help prevent peeling.

Rock Tape Pregnancy Taping for the Diaphragm

2. Fold the tape in half and tear the backing completely across the center of the strip. Peel the backing away from the center a few inches in each direction.

3. Apply the center of the tape on the top of the bulge, directly below the sternum/breastbone. With a full inhalation of breath, continue to remove the backing and apply the tape with a slight stretch along the outer perimeter of the abdomen.

4. Apply the final 2-3″ of tape with no stretch. Rub the entire length of the tape to activate the adhesive.

Rocktape Pregnancy Taping Poster

Free Poster – RockTape
Pregnancy Taping Instructions

Would you like a copy of the entire RockTape Pregnancy Application poster with 12 different kinesiology taping applications for conditions related to pregnancy. CLICK HERE to order.

Back Pain in Pregnancy

As pregnancy advances, the lion’s share of the work supporting the ever-growing baby bulge falls squarely on the lower back muscles. The further in front the abdomen protrudes, the more work the back muscles must do to stabilize and support the entire area. No wonder lower back pain is a common pregnancy complaint! Muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatory drugs are not recommended during pregnancy, leaving many moms-to-be desperate for a safe, natural remedy for their aching backs.

While kinesiology taping is most widely used to treat sports injuries, the mechanisms that help a cyclist’s spasmed back muscles relax and recover are equally applicable to a pregnant woman with lower back pain and spasms.

RockTape, the maker of a line of premium kinesiology tape, has been a leader in developing kinesiology taping applications for the aches and pains of pregnancy. Following is a simple kinesiology taping technique that can bring immense relief to anyone dealing with lower back pain, inflammation or spasms. The tape should be applied with the body curled forward from the waist, to put the back muscles in a position of maximal stretch.

RockTape for Lower Back Pain in Pregnancy1. Cut 2 strips of RockTape, long enough to stretch from gluteal area to the bra line.

2. Remove the backing from the first 2-3″ of Rock Tape and apply to the upper gluteal area on one side of the spine. Continue to apply the tape beside the spine, with no additional stretch, removing the backing as the tape is applied.

3. Repeat on the other side of the spine.

Kinesiology Taping for Lower Back Pain in Pregnancy4. Apply a horizontal “decompression strip” directly over the most painful area. Take a 6-8″ length of RockTape and tear the backing across the middle. Peel the backing away from the center in both directions, leaving approximately 2′ at each end. Holding both ends of the tape, stretch it to 50% of its maximum stretch and apply, rubbing briskly to activate the adhesive. Then remove the backing from the ends of the tape and apply them with no stretch.

Rocktape Pregnancy Taping Poster

Free Poster – RockTape
Pregnancy Taping Instructions

Would you like a copy of the entire RockTape Pregnancy Application poster with 12 different kinesiology taping applications for conditions related to pregnancy. CLICK HERE to order.

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Mardy Fish and Mark Knowles wearing KT TapeIf you’d like to learn more about kinesiology taping for tennis injuries, be sure to tune into the Tennis Channel Mon. Aug 16th at 7:30 pm. Tennis Channel’s “Fit to Hit”

Fit to Hit features “secrets” that can help tennis players stay healthy and get a winning edge. KT Tape’s segment will feature Clay Sniteman, the lead physical therapist and athletic trainer for the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Sniteman recently became a new member of the KT Tape Medical Advisory Board,

KT Tape is a leading kinesiology tape manufacturer, with an extensive line of kinesiology taping products for both consumer and professional use. KT is best known for it’s precut kinesiology tape strips that come conveniently packaged in single or bulk rolls. Simply tear a 10″ strip from the roll, remove the backing and apply – no measuring or cutting required.

More recently, KT Tape introduced the KT Tape Pro line of kinesiology taping products. Engineered with an adhesive that is 25% stronger than industry standard, KT Tape Pro is designed for those who require the ultimate durability and performance from their kinesiology tape. KT Tape Pro is available in precut strips or classic uncut rolls, in both single and bulk sizes.

Sniteman owns Sundance Performance Therapy in Ogden, UT. He is an expert on human biomechanics and has created customized training and workout programs for numerous elite athletes. He also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Weber State University.

As a member of KT Tape’s Medical Advisory Board, Sniteman and other qualified health professionals advise KT Tape on how to provide the best rehabilitation and pain management advice to consumers. Sniteman will participate in on-site and online clinics and be a key resource for taping techniques and information.

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Buy KT Tape like Mardy's WearingProfessional tennis players maintain a brutal schedule of training and tournament play. With major events scheduled throughout the year, there is no “off season” for touring tennis pros. Maintaining such a high level of activity week after week and month after month takes a toll on the body. Tour players are continually dealing with a host of aches and pains, ranging from annoying overuse syndromes to major traumatic injuries.

Kinesiology tape provides athletes with a solution for working through minor injuries and recovering faster from major injuries. In addition, it can enhance endurance and performance during training sessions and matches, as well as accelerate recovery after intense exercise.

Unlike traditional athletic tape that is tight and restrictive, kinesiotape provides support without limiting range of motion. It is water resistant and breathable, and can be worn for up to 5 days, even through intense exercise, showering or swimming.

No wonder we’re seeing players sporting colorful configurations of kinesiology tape at all of the major tournaments!

swollen_ankles_pregnancy

Swollen ankles are one of the most common miseries of pregnancy. Fortunately, kinesiology taping can provide a safe, simple and convenient remedy for this, as well as many other miseries of pregnancy. This is the second in a series of posts covering the use of kinesiology tape for the discomforts of pregnancy.

The kinesio taping technique used for swelling and edema is called lymphatic taping. It involves applying the anchor end of the tape close to the lymphatic drainage ducts, with “fingers” of tape extending along the nearby lymphatic channels. The tape is applied with a light stretch, lifting the skin just enough to relieve pressure on the lymphatic vessels, allowing them to drain excess fluid more efficiently.

The makers of RockTape Kinesiology Tape have provided a series of simple taping instructions for common pregnancy complaints. The following illustration shows the lymphatic taping technique to use with ankle edema.

pregnancy-taping-swollen-ankles

kinesiology-tape-fan-stripHow to Cut a Fan Strip

To cut a fan strip for a lymphatic taping, take a strip of kinesiology tape and make several longitudinal cuts beginning at one end and finishing 3-4″ from the other end (the anchor end). For ankle edema, the anchor end is applied above the ankle and the “fingers” are spread out directly over the swollen area. If necessary, multiple fan strips can be cut and applied crossing over each other.

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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!

rocktape_runner_2Kinesiology tape has become a mainstream item in the treatment of sports injuries and other health conditions involving pain, inflammation and muscle dysfunction. Now, however, a new kinesiology tape combined with a new kinesiology taping technique is helping athletes run faster, jump higher and last longer.

The tape is called RockTape, a kinesiology tape engineered especially for performance athletes. The taping technique is called PowerTaping, and involves taping entire “kinetic chains” responsible for specific athletic activities. This post is going to focus on the features of RockTape that allow it to enhance athletic performance.

Most kinesiology tapes have a 130-140% longitudinal stretch that is the key to the amazing pain relief and anti-inflammatory benefits they produce. Rock Tape, however, has a 190% longitudinal stretch, coupled with a high-quality nylon reinforcement of the cotton fibers. This gives RockTape a superior “snap back” ability compared to other kinesiology tapes, similar to the difference between a strong, thick rubber band and a weaker, thinner one.

rocktape-fiber-stretchedRockTape Elastic Fiber – Stretched Position

This enlarged photograph shows a single strand of Rock Tape elastic fiber in the stretched position. Note the similarity to the coils in a spring.

RockTape Fiber Relaxed

RockTape Elastic Fiber – Relaxed Position

The tightly wound elastic coils allow the tape to snap back to its resting position very quickly when released. When RockTape is stretched, then applied to a muscle that is contracting and relaxing, the recoil properties of the tape help the muscles return to a resting state more quickly after every contraction.

This assistance in returning to a resting position allows muscles to expend less energy as they continually contract and relax. This results in less muscle fatigue and greater endurance – a huge benefit to athletes in all endurance sports. Power athletes can also benefit from the same principle, as the snap back phenomenon enhances the speed and power of the contraction/relaxation cycle.

Click here to learn more about PowerTaping techniques for athletes.

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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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