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Archive for the ‘Pain Relief’ Category

Don’t miss our new blog at Theratape.com! Check out our latest post, Kinesiology Taping for Pain Relief and learn about how to apply kinesiology tape for pain relief.

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Kinesiology tape can be applied in different ways to achieve different results. By manipulating the amount of stretch in the muscle and/or the amount of stretch in the tape, a kinesiology taping application can provide pain relief, lymphatic drainage or structural support. When pain relief is the desired objective, the rule of thumb is to stretch the muscle, not the tape. This is accomplished by holding the target muscle group in a position of maximal stretch (within pain tolerance) as the tape is applied with no stretch.

The SpiderTech Tape company has produced a series of three educational videos in conjunction with the launch of their new product, SpiderTech PowerStrips – precut kinesiology tape strips in X, Y and I configurations. The following video demonstrates how to create a neurosensory (pain relief) application, using Spider Tech Power Strips.

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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.’

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.

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!

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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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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