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Posts Tagged ‘how to apply kinesiology tape’

The video below, features physical therapist, Chris Harper, explaining everything a beginning taper needs to know about applying KT Tape Precut Strips. Some of the highlights:

  • KT Tape is specially designed for consumer use. No special training is required to apply it effectively.
  • The tape can be used for a wide variety of conditions, including strained or overused muscles and joints.
  • KT Tape differs from conventional taping, wrapping, and bracing products in that it provides support without interfering with movement.
  • Kinesiology tape decreases pain and can also reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • While conventional kinesiology tapes require measuring and cutting, KT Tape comes in convenient pre-cut strips, that make the application process much simpler.
  • The rounded corners on KT Tape Precut Strips are designed to minimize curling and fraying, while perforations down the length of the tape allow it to be quickly modified for a variety of configurations.
  • Pre-cut strips can be used in two configurations: “I” strips and “Y” strips. “I” strips may be used “as is” right off the roll. “Y” strips require folding the strip lengthwise and tearing it along the perforation to separate the two halves and create the “arms” of the “Y.”

In addition to the application tips listed in “Getting Your KT Tape to Stick – Part 1,” the video also offers a few additional helpful hints:

  • Rather than removing all of the backing at once, remove only the backing of each section as you apply it. Begin by tearing the backing two inches from the end to create an anchor point for the strip. Then apply the rest of the tape as either an I or Y strip.
  • If using multiple strips of tape, be sure that the tape ends are applied to bare skin and don’t end on another piece of tape.

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KT Tape Precut StripsKT Tape could be called the most consumer-friendly brand of kinesiology tape. It comes neatly packaged in rolls of tear-off precut strips, eliminating the need for scissors and cutting for most applications. In addition, the company has created a vast library of both printable application instructions and instructional videos for a wide variety of injuries.

This makes KT Tape Precut Strips the ideal kinesiology tape for those who don’t have access to trainers or therapists to apply their tape. Although taping yourself may seem daunting at first, an important piece of advice the company offers is not to be afraid to “jump in and just go for it.” Although there is a bit of a learning curve, the KT Tape advisors say that after three or four tries, most beginners will be taping just like the pros.

The KT experts give six general rules for getting your KT Tape to stick:

1. Before starting, ensure that the skin is clean and dry. For best results, clean the skin with rubbing alcohol or hand sanitizer to give the adhesive a good contact. Clip excessive body hair close to the skin.

2. Rounded corners help prevent tape ends from curling or lifting away from the skin. KT Tape Precut Strips come with rounded corners, but if you do any cutting yourself, be sure to round every corner.

2. For taping over joints such as knees and elbows, place the joint in its maximum bent position before applying tape. By putting the body part in a position of maximum stretch, this prevents the tape from overstretching later and loosening the adhesive.

3. Make sure the final inch at both ends of the tape are applied with absolutely no stretch so the ends won’t lift up or curl.

4. Briskly rub the KT Tape after application to activate the adhesive and make sure all edges adhere to the skin.

Want to see the rules in action? Tune into “Getting Your KT Tape to Stick – Part 2” for a great video that shows everything you need to know.

 

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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.

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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.

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Kinesiology tape can be applied in different ways to achieve different results. The experts at SpiderTech define three main taping techniques:

  • Neurosensory – to relieve acute or chronic pain
  • Microcirculatory – to reduce swelling and bruising by enhancing lymphatic drainage
  • Structural – to support injured areas and encourage proper postural and movement patterns

Each of these techniques requires a different combination of two factors:

  1. The amount of stretch in the affected muscle or muscle group
  2. The amount of stretch in the tape as it is applied

Following are general guidelines for each of the three taping techniques:

  1. Neurosensory – stretch the muscle, not the tape
  2. Structural – stretch the tape, not the muscle
  3. Microcirculatory – stretch the muscle and the tape

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.

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Kinesio TapingNow 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.

Kinesiology Taping for Achilles or Calf InjuryFirst 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:

  1. Provide structural support to joints and muscles without restricting a healthy range of motion.
  2. Correct improper muscle function by providing neurosensory feedback during movement.
  3. Relieve pain from both acute injuries and chronic pain conditions.
  4. Reduce swelling and inflammation through enhanced lymphatic drainage.
  5. Accelerate healing via improved blood flow to injured tissues.
  6. Prevent overuse and overcontraction of  working muscles.
  7. Accelerate recovery from intense exercise.
  8. Reestablish normal muscle activation following an injury.
  9. Increase muscle tone in injured or neurologically inhibited muscles.
  10. Delay fatigue and improve endurance through enhanced muscle ‘snap back.’

Pregnancy Shortness of BreathBy 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.

Rock Tape Pregnancy Taping for the Diaphragm

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.

Rocktape Pregnancy Taping Poster

Free Poster – RockTape
Pregnancy Taping Instructions

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_pregnancy

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.

pregnancy-taping-swollen-ankles

kinesiology-tape-fan-stripHow to Cut a Fan Strip

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.

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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.

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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