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Archive for the ‘RockTape’ 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!

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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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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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_hand_applicationOne of the greatest features of kinesiology tape is that it can be worn for several days at a time. It continues to provide therapeutic benefits, 24/7, for the entire time it is on the body. It’s like receiving physical therapy around the clock for days at a time, for only a few dollars.

With that said, however, some kinesiology tape users have experienced difficulty getting their applications to stay in place. This posting will look at the most common culprits when kinesiology tape won’t stick, and present solutions that should increase the wear time significantly.

Culprit #1 – Poor Quality Kinesiology Tape

Although all kinesiology tapes may appear identical at first glance, they are not all identical when it comes to quality. Inferior brands can actually start peeling off the skin within minutes of application, making their bargain prices quickly seem not such a good deal after all.

Solution: Don’t select your kinesiology tape on price alone. The top brand for “stickability” is RockTape, which has a stronger adhesive than any other kinesiology tapes. RockTape receives high praise from high level triathletes for its ability to remain in place through entire Ironman triathlons, including the ocean swims. SpiderTape is also a top quality kinesiology tape, being made from the original Nitto Denko tape from Japan.

Culprit #2 – Skin Oils or Lotions

Any type of oil on the skin is the kiss of death to a kinesiology tape application. This includes oils produced naturally by the skin, as well as any topical lotions, creams, etc. The skin should be as oil-free as possible before tape is applied.

Solution: Clean the skin well with soap and water and/or rubbing alcohol immediately before applying kinesiology tape. Make sure skin is completely dry before taping.

Culprit #3 – Sweat and/or Water

Kinesiology tape will remain in place throughout swimming, showering or intense perspiration … provided the adhesive has a chance to properly activate before any of this occurs. If moisture is introduced under the tape before the adhesive has been set, the tape will begin to lift very quickly.

Solution: Make sure skin is dry and oil-free before applying kinesiology tape. Immediately after applying the tape, rub it briskly (from center to ends) to activate the adhesive, then wait at least one hour before introducing any type of moisture (showering, swimming or sweating).

Culprit #4 – Body Hair

If you have a lot of body hair in the area you’re taping, the tape is going to stick to the hair, not the skin. This has two downsides. The first is that the tape will not stick well (although the pain you experience as you remove it may make you wonder). Second, the taping won’t be as effective, since it is the direct contact between kinesiology tape and the skin’s surface that is responsible for the therapeutic benefits.

Solution: Clip or shave any hairy areas before applying kinesiology tape. It will stay on longer, work better … and hurt a heck of a lot less when you remove the tape!

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PowerTaping … Taping Movements, Not Muscles

powertaping_icon_lg“RockTape” and “PowerTaping” have been all the buzz lately, ever since NBC profiled these exciting new kinesiology taping products during their coverage of the Winter Olympics. My last post featured an overview of RockTape, also referred to as Power Tape, plus a video of the NBC segment.

Going hand-in-hand with RockTape is an innovative new kinesiology taping method called PowerTaping. Rather than taping an isolated joint or muscle group, PowerTaping protocol focuses on the entire chain of joints, muscles, fascia  and nervous system components responsible for specific movement patterns. The result? Improved efficiency of movement, structural reinforcement of correct motor patterns, and improved fluid dynamics, which all contribute to reduced fatigue, faster recovery and improved biomechanical function.

Benefits of Power Taping

powertaping_for_cycling» Delayed onset of fatigue
» More rapid recovery
» Improved flexibility/range of motion in tight muscles
» Relief of swelling, edema and bruising
» Stronger activation of weak, injured or imbalanced muscle groups
» Regained coordination in weak or injured muscle groups
» Correction of balance insufficiencies
» Regained speed after injury or overuse
» Enhanced muscle activation (timing)
» Relief from muscle inhibition following injury or overuse

The image above illustrates one of the possible sport-specific movement chains for cycling. The upper body taping reduces fatigue and muscle vibration in the shoulders, upper arms, forearms and wrists – areas that fatigue in events such as time trials.

Note: The PowerTaping Manual is written for sports practitioners, and demonstrates how to apply RockTape power tape to increase athletic performance. It also provides an overview of the science behind the protocol.

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rocktape_runner_2What does it take to get over 2 minutes of free coverage on NBC during the Olympic Games? A totally hot, new product that has implications for athletes of all ages and abilities!

RockTape is an exciting, new kinesiology tape that has been specifically engineered to enhance athletic performance. It provides the same therapeutic benefits as regular kinesiology tape, but some unique properties of the tape, combined with an innovative taping method called PowerTaping™, allow it to also delay the onset of fatigue, accelerate recovery and improve muscle activation during athletic activities. Following are some of the properties of RockTape that has made it a hit with performance athletes:

  • A Tighter Weave allows it to provide superior support for working muscles, while still allowing a full range of movement.
  • Greater Elasticity (190% vs 130%) creates enhanced “snap back,” for enhanced muscle activation.
  • A Stronger Adhesive allows it to stay in place for the duration of even extreme events like Ironman triathlons, marathons, etc.

The results for athletes? Delayed onset of fatigue, enhanced bloodflow to working muscles, accelerated lactate removal and improved muscle activation.

Here’s what NBC had to say about RockTape:

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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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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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