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Archive for the ‘Pain Relief’ Category

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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We’re moving into track and field season, which means that the incidence of shin splints is about to increase dramatically. Runners and jumpers are especially prone to this excruciating pain in the muscles attaching to the front shin area. Once an athlete has developed shin splints, they can become chronic, causing pain and dysfunction that can significantly impact an athlete’s ability to train and compete.

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 an injury such as shin splints, 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 Shin Splints

rt_instructions_shin_splints

 

Kinesiology Tape Application Tips

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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We’re moving into track and field season, which means that the incidence of hamstring injuries is about to increase dramatically. The knee flexion and hip extension movements involved in all of the sprinting and jumping events put a lot of strain on the hamstrings. Once injured, a hamstring injury can hang on for months, causing pain and dysfunction that can significantly impact an athlete’s ability to train and compete.

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy therapeutic tape that is particularly effective for relieving muscular pain, spasms and inflammation. When used as a therapeutic sports tape and applied to an injury such as a strained hamstring, it can provide protection and support without limiting a safe range of motion. This allows many injured athletes to continue to train and compete as they recover from this type of injuries. 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.

How to Tape a Strained Hamstring

rt_instructions_sciatica_hamstring

Kinesiology Taping Application Tips

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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Plantar Fasciitis is one of those conditions that is not life-threatening, but can make you feel so miserable that it sometimes seems that it’s taken over your life. Marked by pain in the arch of the foot and the bottom of the heel, plantar fascitis reminds its victims of its presence with every step they take. Once it’s taken hold, it’s very difficult to get rid of, and many people suffer for years, trying a litany of orthotics, special shoes, liniments and other fruitless remedies.

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy therapeutic tape that is particularly effective for relieving muscular pain, spasms and inflammation. Once applied, most kinesiology tape applications can be worn up to 5 days, providing therapeutic benefits 24/7 the entire time it’s worn. It has been used to effectively treat plantar fasciitis, as well as other causes of foot and ankle pain.

This is part of a series of posts presenting very simple, yet effective, kinesio 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 Foot for Plantar Fasciitis

 rt_instructions_plantar_fasciitis

Kinesiology Tape Application Tips

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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Neck pain is a common complaint among athletes, office workers, manual laborers, health care professionals … in fact, there are few people who don’t experience neck pain or spasms at some point in their lives. Many others live with it on a daily basis, ranging from those nagging little “hot spots” to debilitating pain that takes over people’s lives.

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy therapeutic tape that is particularly effective for relieving muscular pain and spasms. Once applied, most kinesiology tape applications can be worn up to 5 days, providing therapeutic benefits 24/7 the entire time it’s worn.

This is part of a series of posts presenting very simple, yet effective, 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 Apply Kinesiology Tape for Neck Pain rt_instructions_neck 

Kinesiology Taping Application Tips
Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

One of the things that makes kinesiology tape so popular with injured athletes is its ability to quickly relieve pain from either acute or chronic injuries. Relief is often significant within a few minutes of applying the tape.

I wanted to present this short instructional video produced by the manufacturer of RockTape, a new brand of kinesiology tape engineered to improve athletic performance in addition to providing therapeutic benefits.

The “pain zapper” protocol is a simple taping technique that can be used on virtually any part of the body that is in pain. Keep a roll of RockTape and a pair of scissors handy, and you’ll be able to take care of your “owies” as soon as they occur.

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kinesiology_tape_rollsOne of the features that makes kinesiology tape different from other types of therapeutic tape is its elasticity. Kinesiology tape is designed to stretch up to 40% beyond its “resting” length (i.e., its length with the paper backing still applied).

This “stretchability factor” greatly increases the therapeutic benefits available from kinesiology taping as opposed to traditional athletic taping techniques. This post will provide a general overview of the benefits associated with the elastic properties of kinesiology tape. The following information is equally applicable to both formats of kinesiology tape currently available: Kinesiology Tape by the Roll (brand names Kinesio Tex Tape and SpiderTape), and Pre-Cut Kinesiology Tape Applications (brand name SpiderTech Tape).

 The Benefits of Stretchable Kinesiology Tape

  • kinesiology_tape_athletesWhen kinesiology tape is stretched as it is applied to the skin, it creates a microscopic lifting of the skin in the taped area. This relieves pressure on the local pain receptors, reducing irritation, pain and spasms. Conventional athletic tape, on the other hand, can actually increase pain in an acutely injured area as it does not accomodate to swelling or movement.
  • This lifting action also allows for enhanced circulation of both blood and lymphatic fluid. Increased bloodflow accelerates healing by delivering more oxygen and nutrients to injured tissues, while improved lymphatic drainage reduces swelling, edema and inflammation.
  • The elastic properties of kinesiology tape allow it to provide therapeutic benefits to an injured or painful area without the rigid compression of traditional taping. This means that kinesiology taping applications can be safely left in place for several days, as opposed to conventional athletic tape that must be removed within hours because of reduced circulation. In fact, the longer a kinesiology taping application is worn, the better, since the therapeutic benefits continue to accrue for the entire time it is worn.
  • The elasticity of kinesiology tape makes it the preferred method of taping for injured athletes who desire to continue training and/or competing as they recover from their injuries. When applied with the appropriate amount of stretch, kinesiology tape can provide support to an injured area, preventing harmful overstretching or over-contraction, without restricting a healthy range of movement.
  • When stretched kinesiology tape is applied to the skin, the ongoing sensory stimulation from the tape can override pain signals from an injured or inflamed area, providing a safe, non-pharmaceutical approach to pain relief.

Watch for upcoming posts providing more detailed guidelines for stretching tape and muscles in kinesiology taping applications.

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kinesiology_tapeWondering what that funky-looking, colored tape is that so many athletes are wearing these days? It’s called kinesiology tape, and it has become an overnight sensation among injured athletes, people with chronic inflammatory conditions, accident victims and individuals recovering from surgery.

The surprising ability of this lightweight, thin, stretchy therapeutic tape to quickly relieve pain and reduce inflammation makes it effective for a wide range of conditions. Although best known as an athletic tape or sports tape, its uses extend well beyond the realm of athletics. Following is a partial list of conditions known to respond favorably to kinesiology taping.

Joint Pain –  Arthritis, Bursitis, Lupus, Degenerative Joints, Poorly Aligned Joints, Joint Instability

Muscle Pain or Spasms – Torn Muscles, Pulled/Strained Muscles, Tight Muscles, Fibromyalgia, Muscle Spasms, Muscle Cramps, Calf Strain, Pulled Hamstring, Groin Pulls, Strained Gluteals, Abdominal Strain,

Soft Tissue Injuries – Tendonitis, Strained Tendons, Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis), Golfers Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis), Patellar Tendonitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Whiplash, Back Strain, Neck Strain, Rotator Cuff Injuries, Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Joint Injuries – Joint Sprains, Dislocated Joints, Sprained Ankle, Sprained Knee, Sprained Wrist, Sprained Elbow, Degenerated Meniscus, Knee Cartilage Injuries, Unstable Joints, Joint Hypermobility

Overuse Injuries – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Repetitive Stress Syndrome, Shin Splints, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Tension Headaches, Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow

Swelling and Edema – Lymphodema, Joint Swelling, Edema, Lymphatic Congestion, Chronic Joint or Muscle Inflammation

Postural Problems – Poor Posture, Round Shoulders, Weak Muscles, Muscle Imbalance, Poor Muscle Tone, Hypotonia

Rehabilitation after Surgery – Athletic Injury Surgery, Reconstructive Surgery, Joint Replacement, Meniscus Repair, Ligament Surgery, Tendon Surgery

Bruising – Bruising following Injuries or Surgery, Contusions

Foot Pain – Plantar Fascitis, Fallen Arches

Following are some important things to know about kinesiology tape:

1. Kinesiology tape can be bought in rolls or pre-cut applications for specific body parts. Home users with no kinesiology taping training should begin with precut kinesiology tape.

2. When properly applied, one application of kinesiology tape can be worn for up to 5 days. It will remain firmly in place through showering, swimming and even heavy sweating.

3. The therapeutic benefits of kinesiology tape continue around the clock for the entire time it’s worn. Thus, a single kinesiology taping application can be compared to receiving continuous therapy 24/7 for up to 5 days.

4. Kinesiology tape is made from high grade cotton with a hypo-allergenic acrylic adhesive. It contains no latex and no medication. Very few people experience skin reactions to kinesiology tape.

5. Kinesiology taping is safe and effective for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly.

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There are three basic kinesiology taping techniques, depending on the goal of the taping. Kinesiology tape can be applied to:
1. Relieve Pain
2. Reduce Swelling
3. Provide Support

Each of these three techniques uses a different combination of stretching the tape and/or stretching the muscles. This feature is one of the main things that separates kinesiology tape from regular athletic tape. This post will examine how to apply kinesiology tape for relief of acute or chronic pain.

The general principle for obtaining maximum pain relief is to STRETCH THE MUSCLE, NOT THE TAPE. The following image shows a SpiderTech Precut Hamstring Application about to be applied as the hamstring muscle group is held in a stretched position.

stretched_hamstring

By placing the muscle in a position of maximum stretch during the tape application, the tape will appear puckered or wrinkled when the muscle is returned to its resting position. This is caused by a mechanical “lifting” of the upper layers of skin, increasing the space between the skin and the tissues below. This reduces pressure and irritation on the pain receptors, and also creates a slight counter-sensation that overrides the pain signals going to the brain.

Step 1: Apply the first section of tape (the anchor) with the muscle in an unstretched, resting position. This reduces the liklihood of discomfort or skin irritation and provides a secure anchor for the rest of the taping.

Step 2: Stretch the muscle to the limit of its pain-free range of motion. While holding this stretched position, apply the tape as the backing is removed. Do not stretch the tape as it is applied.

Step 3: Return the muscle to a resting position and rub tape briskly from the center toward the outside edges to activate the acrylic adhesive. The tape and the skin should now have a wrinkled or puckered appearance.

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kt_athlete_cyclistsThe recent explosion of kinesiology taping in North America and around the world isn’t just a fad that will be popular today and gone tomorrow. Kinesiology taping is a well-researched, clinically proven therapeutic modality that started as an athletic wrapping tape, but has now earned its place in hospitals, therapy clinics, trainers’ kits and athletes’ bags. Kinesiology tape can be applied quickly and produces rapid results. The “Big 3” therapeutic benefits of kinesiology taping include:

1. Pain Relief
2. Reduction of Swelling and Inflammation
3. Structural Support without Loss of Range of Motion

Today I’m going to focus on how kinesiology taping relieves pain.  The physical qualities of kinesiology tape that are important in pain relief are its thinness and its elasticity, both of which are virtually identical to the same qualities in human skin.

For maximum pain relief, the affected muscle or muscle group should be held in a stretched position as the tape is applied. After the tape has been applied and the muscle returns to its resting position, the tape will appear slightly puckered or ridged. Pain relief is often rapid and dramatic. In simplest terms, there are two main mechanisms at play:

1. Mechanical Effect
kinesiology_tape_pain_reliefThe puckering of the tape indicates that the upper layers of skin have been lifted slightly from the tissues below. This lifting action relieves pressure and irritation on the pain receptors directly under the skin, rapidly reducing the pain signals they send to the brain.

2. Neurological Effect
Although the conscious sensation from a kinesiology taping application disappears very quickly, it actually produces an ongoing low level sensory stimulation for the entire time it is worn. Although virtually undetectable to the wearer, this sensory stimulation productes a continuous loop of stimulation from the muscle to the brain and back again. Because of its ongoing nature, this stimulation is able to interfere with and override many of the pain signals from the injured area.

My next post will discuss proper application techniques when kinesiology taping for pain relief.

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