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Archive for the ‘Kinesio Tape’ Category

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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Theratape Kinesiology Tape AuthorityIf you want to learn about kinesiology tape, buy kinesiology tape, watch kinesiology taping videos or keep up with the latest kinesiology taping news, be sure to check out the new, improved Theratape.com. For over a year, Theratape has steadily grown to become the online authority for all things related to kinesiology tape. Not content to rest on its laurels, a new, vastly improved Theratape.com was launched just last week.

Here are some of the new and exciting features:

  • KT Tape (Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape) Precut Strips are now available and on sale. KT Tape is the only brand that offers rolls of pre-cut strips of kinesiology tape. Each 10″ strip can be easily torn from the roll, ready to apply. Each strip is also serrated down the middle, allowing it to be applied as a “Y” strip with no additional cutting.
  • KT Tape Pro. Theratape also carries the new KT Tape Pro line. KT Tape Pro is a premium kinesiology tape with an advanced adhesive that is 25% stronger than most other kinesiology tapes. KT Tape Pro is available in single uncut rolls and bulk uncut rolls, and is extremely well-priced, with 20% more tape than competitive brands.
  • The Theratape Education Center is a companion site to Theratape.com, and can be accessed directly from the top navigation bar. The Education Center contains the internet’s largest collection of kinesiology taping information, and is growing daily. Here you can download over 90 different printable application instructions for a wide variety of injuries or for athletic performance enhancement. If you prefer to watch, you can view the same number of videos, featuring professionals showing how to apply kinesiology tape. You can also access testimonials, news posts and detailed product specifications and information in the Theratape Education Center.
  • Quick Order Pages for customers in a hurry. For those with a list of items to order, Theratape now offers Quick Order pages for each of the four major kinesiology tape brands – Kinesio Tape, KT Tape, RockTape and SpiderTech Tape. Each Quick Order page contains the entire product listing for that brand. Simply enter the quantities you wish to order beside each product and click Add to Cart, and you’re ready to check out. (And, of course, Theratape still provides its unsurpassed Same Day Shipping service for all orders placed by 2 pm central time.)

In addition to the newly added KT Tape, Theratape also offers products from these leading kinesiology tape manufacturers:

  1. Kinesio Tape – the brand that ignited the kinesiology taping explosion at the Beijing Olympics. Kinesio Tex Tape is available in single rolls (2″ x 16.4′) and bulk rolls (2″ x 105′).
  2. RockTape – a premium kinesiology tape designed to enhance athletic performance. RockTape is available in 16 different colors and patterns (including camo, cow and biohazard), and comes in single rolls (2″ x 16.4′) and bulk rolls (2″ x 105′).
  3. SpiderTech Tape – the only company that offers precut kinesiology tape for specific parts of the body. SpiderTech’s pre-cut kinesiology tape comes in individually packaged applications for the ankle/foot/shin, calf/achilles, knee, groin, hamstring, hip, lower back, upper back, neck, shoulder, elbow and wrist. There are also 3 sizes of lymphatic applications designed to reduce severe swelling, edema and lymphodema. SpiderTech recently introduced SpiderTech Gentle, with a special gel-like adhesive developed especially for sensitive or fragile skin.

This is only the tip of the iceberg for what you can find at Theratape.com. Check it out yourself – we know you’ll be impressed!

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This is the first in a series of posts providing instructions for taping a variety of conditions related to pregnancy.

The physical changes associated with  pregnancy put strain on many different parts of the body. The accompanying swelling, aches and pains can make the latter stages of pregnancy extremely uncomfortable. With the precautions against taking medications while pregnant, it can seem as though there are few solutions to deal with things like back pain, swollen feet, carpal tunnel and more.

Kinesiology taping is an ideal solution for all of these issues. The soft, elastic tape is comfortable to wear and it contains no medications. It’s hypoallergenic acrylic adhesive is safe and non-irritating. And, the best thing about kinesio taping during pregnancy is that is can dramatically relieve many of the physical discomforts that can make life miserable.

The Baby Belt Kinesiology Taping by RockTape

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baby_belt_step_lBegin by cutting 2 pieces of tape, approximately 3 feet long. Remove the backing from the end of one piece and apply it over the hip area (photo 1). Have the subject hold her arm above her head as you apply the kinesiotape in a spiral pattern along the lower margin of the abdomen, over the ribs and up the back, finishing just above the opposite shoulder blade.

Repeat the process starting on the other hip.

Pregnancy Abdominal Taping - Front StripsCut two more strips of kinesiology tape, each approximately 15″ long. Have subject hold both arms above her head.Apply the end of the first strip just above and to the side of the pelvic bone, then run the rest of the strip straight up over the abdomen, finishing on the ribcage just below the breasts.

Repeat on the other side with the second strip of tape.

Pregnancy Abdominal Taping - Back ViewRear view of completed taping.

Remember that, if properly applied, most kinesiotaping applications can be worn for up to 5 days. This makes kinesiology tape a convenient and cost effective way to deal with the discomforts of pregnancy.

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!

April 27, 2010
“Bright-colored strips of tape in odd patterns are increasingly being seen on professional and recreational athletes. Kinesiology tape can help take pressure off overused muscles, reduce swelling and alleviate pain from injuries, say companies that sell it. Scientific evidence is mixed, but clinicians say it seems to work—at least in the short term. “

Nicole Branagh wearing SpiderTech TapeSo begins a detailed article on kinesiology tape in today’s Wall Street Journal. Overwhelmingly positive overall, “Putting on the Stripes to Ease Pain” discusses how kinesiology tape has rapidly established itself in North America and introduces the companies that have taken it to a new level.

The three major manufacturers are profiled, including Kinesio Tex Tape, SpiderTech Tape and RockTape. Each has established itself by virtue of a specific market niche – Kinesio Tex Tape as a clinical product, Spider Tech as the leader in precut kinesiology tape for different body parts, and Rock Tape as a premium performance-enhancing tape for athletes.

As kinesiology taping applications are being seen on more athletes in more sports, the demand for the products at the consumer level is exploding. Many online retailers sell only to health professionals, but all three brands are available to the general public on a specialty kinesiology tape website, www.theratape.com.

If the validity of kinesiology taping was ever in doubt, this profile in the Wall Street Journal has given it the official “big business” stamp of approval.

Click Here to read the entire article.

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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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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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applying_kinesiology_tapeKinesiology tape is made from cotton with a medical grade acrylic adhesive. It is latex-free and non-medicated, making it hypoallergenic for virtually everyone except those with allergies to any type of adhesive. With this said, however, a small percentage of kinesiology tape users do experience irritation, itching or redness after wearing kinesiology tape. The purpose of this blog is to examine the most common causes of skin irritation, and present some possible solutions.

True allergic reactions to kinesio tape are rare, so most rashes come from simple skin irritation. Following are some of the most common causes:

1. Too Much Stretch in the Tape – When kinesiology tape is applied with a great amount of stretch, it pulls on the skin as it attempts to contract back to its unstretched state. If only a small piece of tape is being used (as in the RockTape Pain Zapper technique), this doesn’t usually create a problem. When larger areas of skin are covered with extremely stretched tape, however, the potential for irritation or even blistering is much greater.

Solution: Be careful not to overstretch the tape when you apply it. Kinesiology tape is already stretched 25% on the paper backing, so an effective stretch can be achieved even when applying with “tape off tension.”  In general, the larger the area being taped, the less additional stretch is necessary during application

2. Applying Stretch to the Anchor Ends – The anchor ends of the tape are the final 1-2″ of every strip. When these ends are stretched during application, they will pull on the skin with every movement. After a period of time, this can cause redness and irritation.

Solution: Regardless of the amount of stretch used in each strip of tape, the final 1-2″ should always be applied with absolutely no stretch.

3. Hair Follicle Irritation in Unshaved Areas – The benefits of kinesiology taping are achieved via direct contact between the tape and the skin. A properly-applied kinesiology tape application provides continual sensory input on the skin’s surface. If the taped area has significant amounts of hair, this sensory stimulation is transmitted to the hair follicles, which can become irritated.

Solution: Clip excess amounts of hair close to skin level before applying kinesiology tape.

4. Skin Irritation in Freshly Shaved Areas – Shaving removes the uppermost layer of skin, exposing fresh skin for the first time. Because this skin hasn’t had time to “toughen,” it is more easily irritated, especially if the area is not shaved regularly.

Solution: To avoid hair follicle irritation from shaving, try clipping the hair close to the skin rather than shaving. Clipping leaves the top layer of skin intact, decreasing the likelihood of irritation.

If the above precautions have been taken and skin irritation persists, the following products have been found to be helpful when applied to the skin prior to taping: Liquid Milk of Magnesia, Benadryl Itch Stopping Gel, Maalox, Skincote and Tens Clean Coat Skin Wipes.

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Therapists trained in the art and science of kinesiology taping are able to create complex applications for a wide variety of injuries and health conditions. For complicated injuries or medical conditions, this level of expertise may be required, but for everyday aches and pains no special training is necessary. Most people, armed with a roll of kinesiology tape and some basic instructions, can create an application that will effectively relieve pain and reduce swelling.

This 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 Tape the Groin

How to Tape a Strained Groin

Basic Application Techniques

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

Therapists trained in the art and science of kinesiology taping are able to create complex applications for a wide variety of injuries and health conditions. For complicated injuries or medical conditions, this level of expertise may be required, but for everyday aches and pains no special training is necessary. Most people, armed with a roll of kinesiology tape and some basic instructions, can create an application that will effectively relieve pain and reduce swelling.

This 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 Tape the Calf

How to Tape the Calf

Basic Application Techniques

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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