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KT Tape was featured on the popular Tennis Channel program, Fit to Hit, during the summer. The show featured the lead physical therapist and athletic trainer for the ATP, Clay Sniteman. Sniteman uses KT Tape on tennis pros to relieve pain, reduce swelling and accelerate healing from their injuries. Tennis pros love it because it allows them to continue training and competing as they recover from such injuries as tennis elbow, rotator cuff injuries, wrist strain, knee pain and more. The elastic properties of kinesiology tape allow it to provide support for an injured or overused area without restricting movement, a critical feature for tennis players who need to access their full arsenal of moves during tournament play.
Professional tennis players maintain a brutal schedule of training and tournament play. With major events scheduled throughout the year, there is no “off season” for touring tennis pros. Maintaining such a high level of activity week after week and month after month takes a toll on the body. Tour players are continually dealing with a host of aches and pains, ranging from annoying overuse syndromes to major traumatic injuries.
Kinesiology tape provides athletes with a solution for working through minor injuries and recovering faster from major injuries. In addition, it can enhance endurance and performance during training sessions and matches, as well as accelerate recovery after intense exercise.
Unlike traditional athletic tape that is tight and restrictive, kinesiotape provides support without limiting range of motion. It is water resistant and breathable, and can be worn for up to 5 days, even through intense exercise, showering or swimming.
No wonder we’re seeing players sporting colorful configurations of kinesiology tape at all of the major tournaments!
Airrosti (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?
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. ”
So 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.
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.
I 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.
Luckily, 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.
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.
Let’s face it, thigh muscles take a beating in every sport that involves running, jumping or cycling. Muscle strains, muscle fatigue, muscle cramps, charley horses and even plain old (but painful) muscle stiffness can really take a toll on the quadriceps muscles in the front of the thigh.
Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy therapeutic tape that is particularly effective for relieving muscular pain, spasms and inflammation. Used as both a therapeutic medical tape and a sports tape, it can be applied to any of the above conditions, providing rapid relief of pain and inflammation. This allows many injured athletes to continue to train and compete as they recover from these types of injuries and overuse syndromes. Once applied, most kinesiology tape applications can be worn up to 5 days, providing therapeutic benefits 24/7 the entire time they’re worn.
This is part of a series of posts on how to apply kinesiology tape. focusing on simple, yet effective, kinesiology 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.
For 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.