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Kinesiology Taping Instructions for Swelling & Edema

posted by Tape Expert

ankle_edemaMy last post explained how the unique properties of kinesiology tape allow it to effectively relieve swelling and edema. Now, we’re going to review the correct lymphatic application technique to ensure optimum results.

Keeping in mind that the goal of this type of kinesiology taping procedure is to lift the skin, creating a space between the skin and the underlying tissue, these are the general guidelines:

1. The muscle group under the inflamed area should be held in a stretched position as the tape is applied.
2. The tape should be stretched approximately 50% beyond its resting length as it is applied.
3. The individual strips of tape should roughly follow the lymphatic channels, and a small space should be left between each segment.

spidertech_lymphaticFollowing are step-by-step instructions for applying a SpiderTech Precut Lymphatic application to relieve swelling, edema or lymphedema. Although a similar result can be obtained by cutting lengths of kinesiology tape from a roll, this pre-cut application is preferable, as it is ready-to-apply. The images show the tape being applied to the quadriceps area on the front of the thigh, but the same principles could be followed for any other part of the body.

lymph_application_step_1Step 1: Begin by tearing all of the perforations on the backing of the tape. After determining where the tape will be applied, remove the backing from the anchor end of the tape (Section 1). and apply it to the skin with no stretch in the tape. Rub the tape briskly from the center toward the edges to activate the adhesive.

lymph_application_step_2Step 2: Stretch the underlying muscle group to its maximum pain-free range of motion. Begin removing the backing from the first “finger” of the tape, and apply it in a curve, along the outer boundary of the treated area. The tape should be stretched approximately 50% as it is applied, except for the final 1-2″ which should not be stretched.

lymph_application_step_3Step 3: One at a time, apply the remaining fingers of this half of the application, following the curve of the first piece. Maintain a gap of approximately a finger width between each strip of tape. Continue to stretch the tape as it is applied, except for the final 1-2″. After each strip is applied, rub it briskly to activate the adhesive.

lymph_application_step_4Step 4: Begin removing the backing from the outer strip of the other half of the application. Apply it in a curve along the opposite boundary of the treated area. The strip should cross over the strips that have already been applied. Continue applying the remaining strips parallel to the outer finger until all have been applied.

lymph_application_step_5Step 5: The finished application should be symmetrical and completely cover the area of swelling or edema. Ensure that each strip has been rubbed to activate the adhesive. Return the muscle to a relaxed position. The tape should now appear somewhat wrinkled, indicating that it is lifting the skin and underlying tissues as desired.

kinesiology tape
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