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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.
Kinesiology tape can be applied in different ways to achieve different benefits. One of the main taping techniques is to provide structural support for weak or injured muscles or joints. Because of its elasticity, kinesiology taping is not suitable to provide rigid support for a severe injury or to stabilize an unstable joint. It can, however, be used very effectively to prevent potentially harmful ranges of motion or to improve static or dynamic postures.
The following video was produced by the makers of SpiderTech Tape, to explain and demonstrate how kinesiology tape can be used to provide structural support for a muscle group or joint.
Each of these techniques requires a different combination of two factors:
Following are general guidelines for each of the three taping techniques:
SpiderTech is a kinesiology tape manufacturer specializing in precut applications and precut strips. Their SpiderTech PowerStrips Precut X, Y and I Strips are precut applications already cut in the most popular X, Y and I formats. Using the Powerstrips to demonstrate, Spider Tech has produced this video that explains the difference between a neurosensory application and a structural application for the shoulder.
Now 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.
First 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:
By 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.
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.
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.
Swollen ankles are one of the most common miseries of pregnancy. Fortunately, kinesiology taping can provide a safe, simple and convenient remedy for this, as well as many other miseries of pregnancy. This is the second in a series of posts covering the use of kinesiology tape for the discomforts of pregnancy.
The kinesio taping technique used for swelling and edema is called lymphatic taping. It involves applying the anchor end of the tape close to the lymphatic drainage ducts, with “fingers” of tape extending along the nearby lymphatic channels. The tape is applied with a light stretch, lifting the skin just enough to relieve pressure on the lymphatic vessels, allowing them to drain excess fluid more efficiently.
The makers of RockTape Kinesiology Tape have provided a series of simple taping instructions for common pregnancy complaints. The following illustration shows the lymphatic taping technique to use with ankle edema.
To cut a fan strip for a lymphatic taping, take a strip of kinesiology tape and make several longitudinal cuts beginning at one end and finishing 3-4″ from the other end (the anchor end). For ankle edema, the anchor end is applied above the ankle and the “fingers” are spread out directly over the swollen area. If necessary, multiple fan strips can be cut and applied crossing over each other.
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.
Begin 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.
Cut 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.
Rear 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.
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:
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 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.
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.
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.
The SpiderTech Tape company has created a comprehensive line of precut kinesiology tape applications for different parts of the body. Each application comes individually packaged with illustrated step-by-step instructions. These therapeutic tape products provide a convenient and inexpensive way for non-health professionals to apply kinesiology tape effectively. This is the second in a series of blogs describing the different SpiderTech applications, their uses and how to apply them.
♦ Relieves pain and swelling from hamstring injuries
♦ Speeds recovery after intense exercise
♦ Provides protection as hamstring injuries heal
♦ Improves strength of injured hamstring muscles
♦ Provides support without restricting range of motion
♦ Prevents or relieves cramps, spasms or stiffness
♦ Assists with hamstring/quadriceps imbalance
Begin by tearing all of the perforations on the backing of the tape. Clean the skin with soap and water or rubbing alcohol before applying tape.
1. Subject should be lying on stomach with leg relaxed. Remove half of the backing from section 1 and apply to the rear thigh, directly below the gluteal fold. Repeat with the other half of section 1. Gently rub the tape to activate the adhesive.
2. Place the hamstring muscles in a stretched position by having subject lie on side with leg straight and stretched forward. Begin peeling the backing from section 2 and apply directly over the hamstring muscles. It is not necessary to stretch the tape as it is applied.
3. With the hamstring muscles still stretched, remove the paper backing from the outer arm of section 2 and apply the tape directly over the center of the injured groin area. Rub each section of tape immediately after applying to activate the glue.
4. Remove the backing from the final arm of section 2 and apply it along the lower boundary of the groin muscles with no additional stretch in the tape. Patient can now relax the leg and move freely. Avoid exercise or bathing for one hour after applying the precut kinesio tape to allow the adhesive to fully set.
My next post will include the application video for the SpiderTech Groin SpiderTape.
My last post outlined the benefits of the SpiderTech Groin Spider – a precut kinesiology tape application engineered for injuries to the adductor muscles in the groin area. The step-by-step application instructions were described. This post provides the SpiderTech Tape Groin Spider application instructions in both printable and video formats, showing exactly how the tape should be applied for best results.