Archive for July, 2009

The hottest trend in athletic therapy today is kinesio taping – application of a thin, stretchy athletic tape on injured or overused body parts. Satisfied users have reported rapid relief of pain, reduction of swelling and even improved performance from the taped muscle groups.

Depending on the method of taping, kinesiology tape can be used to either inhibit or stimulate a muscle or muscle group. The following suggestions apply to both Kinesio Tape (Kinesio Tex Tape), which comes in rolls, and SpiderTech pre-cut kinesiology tape, which is already configured for specific body parts.

For Overused or Overstretched Muscles
back_pain_narrowIf a muscle is suffering from fatigue and overuse, an inhibitory taping technique should be used to assist in relaxation and recovery and/or relieve pain. Begin by placing the muscle in a stretched position. Apply the anchor end of the tape to the insertion (end) of the muscle with no stretch on the tape. Continue applying the tape, ending at the origin (beginning) of the muscle. There should be only a slight tension/stretch in the tape. Since kinesiology tape is already stretched 25% when the backing is applied, simply placing it on the muscle as it comes off the backing should create the optimum stretch.

For Muscle Weakness or Rehabilitation of Injured Muscles
neck_painKinesio taping can be equally effective to stimulate weak or poorly-toned muscles as well as for rehabilitating muscles after the acute phase of an injury. In these situations, the tape is stretched instead of the muscle. It is also applied in the opposite direction, beginning at the origin and ending at the insertion. Except for the anchor (beginning) and the tail (end), the tape should be stretched slightly as it is applied to the skin.

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Knee Kinesiology Tape

Knee Precut Kinesiology Tape

“I can’t even feel it on my skin, but my injury feels so much better. How does kinesiology tape work?

Kinesiology tape is a generic term for a thin, stretchy tape that can be applied to a wide variety of injuries and inflammatory conditions and quickly produce amazing results. The best known brand names are Kinesio Tex Tape (aka Kinesio Tape) and SpiderTech Tape. Other than making a totally cool fashion statement, what is it about this colored tape that has created hundreds of thousands of converts in the last year alone?

1. Kinesiology tape has virtually identical in thickness and elasticity to human skin. This means that once it’s applied, you barely know it’s there. Most applications can be comfortably worn for up to 5 days.

2. When stretched kinesiology tape is applied over an inflammed area, the skin is gently lifted as the tape attempts to return to its unstretched state. This can be seen as a slight puckering or wrinkling of the taped area. This lifting action creates a space between the skin and the inflammed tissues below. reducing pressure on the blood vessels, lymphatic vessels and nerve endings in the injured area. Improved blood flow enhances delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the injured tissues, accelerating the healing process. Improved lymphatic flow reduces swelling which relieves pressure on the pain receptors providing rapid pain relief.


3. Because kinesiology tape can be worn 24/7 for up to 5 days, the therapeutic benefits are available to the body around the clock for the entire time it is worn. It’s kind of like have non-stop physical therapy, day and night, for 5 days. This fact alone greatly accelerates the healing process, allowing a return to normal activities much sooner.

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precut_plus_tapeUntil recently, kinesiology tape was only available in rolls of varying lengths and widths. Strips are hand-cut from these rolls – sometimes in intricate patterns – to create a kinesiology taping application. The sales leader in kinesiology tape by the roll is Kinesio Tex Tape, the company that supplied 50,000 rolls to athletes in the Beijing Olympics.

Just this spring, however, a new player entered the scene, and it appears to be positioned to take kinesiology taping to the next level. The product is called SpiderTech Tape, and it provides pre-cut, ready to apply kinesiology tape applications for different parts of the body. No measuring or cutting is required – one simply removes the backing and applies the tape to the specific body part.

The intent of this posting is to examine the pros and cons associated with both types of kinesiology tape, to allow consumers to make an educated choice. Let’s look at several important factors and see how each stacks up:

The average cost for a 16.4’ roll of kinesiology tape ranges from $12 – $14. Usually several applications can be cut from one roll of tape. The average cost for a single pre-cut application ranges from $6 – $11.
Winner: Kinesiology Tape by the Roll

Time to Apply
The average amount of time for a trained kinesiology tape expert to design, cut and apply an application is 8 minutes. Pre-cut applications require no design or cutting time and take less than 2 minutes to apply.
Winner: Pre-cut Kinesiology Tape

kt_cutsUser Friendliness
Kinesiology taping can be extremely complicated. It is virtually impossible for an individual with no training to design, cut and apply an effective kinesiology tape application. Instruction manuals can be purchased, but most require some knowledge of anatomy and physiology, and they’re not cheap. Training courses are also available, but they are only applicable to trained health professionals. Pre-cut applications, on the other hand, come with simple step-by-step instructions that make it possible for almost anyone to apply them. Online videos are also available showing how to apply each of the different applications.
Winner: Pre-cut Kinesiology Tape

In some cases, accommodations may be necessary for individuals with very small or very large body sizes. In addition, certain injuries or movements may require an application to be modified for optimal results. Hand-cutting kinesiology tape from rolls allows any type of modification to be made, while only minimal modifications can be made to pre-cut applications.
Winner: Kinesiology Tape by the Roll

Hand-cutting tape from a roll creates imperfections along the cut edges that lead to fraying within a couple of days. Because pre-cut applications are machine cut and require no hand-cutting, the machine-finished edges resist fraying for several days longer. Wear times of up to 1 week have been reported for pre-cut applications as opposed to 3-5 days for those hand-cut from rolls.

Winner: Pre-cut Kinesiology TapeConvenience
A quickly-applied kinesiology tape application can often allow an injured athlete to finish a match or competition, providing the injury is not serious. Pre-cut applications can be easily carried in an athlete’s sports bag or a trainer’s kit and applied within minutes of an injury. It can take significantly longer to create and cut an application from a roll of tape.
Winner: Pre-cut Kinesiology Tape

Well, there you have it – the pros and cons of pre-cut kinesiology tape vs. kinesiology tape by the roll. As you can see, each type has positives and negatives. Examine them carefully and you should be able to figure out which type will be best for you.

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spineRecently, more and more chiropractic patients have been leaving their practitioners’ offices sporting a new fashion statement – a brightly colored athletic tape that can be applied in a variety of configurations on any part of the body.

The generic term for this unique therapy is “kinesiology tape.” The two leading brand names are Kinesio® Tex Tape and SpiderTech™ Tape.

Following are some of the reasons kinesiology taping is becoming an integral part of chiropractic treatment:

1. When properly applied, kinesiology tape can relieve pain almost immediately. This can break the vicious “pain/spasm/pain” cycle that can prevent a chiropractor from performing an effective adjustment.

2. Because a single application of kinesiology tape is typically worn for 4-5 days, the therapeutic benefits of a chiropractic visit can continue 24/7 for an extended period of time.

3. Kinesiology tape provides chiropractors with a simple, effective tool to address soft tissue and myofascial issues, in addition to the spinal subluxations more typically treated.

4. The elasticity of kinesiology tape allow a chiropractor to create an application that can guide muscles and joints through correct movement patterns without limiting range of motion.

5. Depending on the method of application, kinesiology tape can be used to either relax overused or spasmed muscles or to activate weak, underused muscles. This allows each application to be customized to the needs of the patient.

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Now that you’ve learned proper application techniques, the next logical step is to learn how to remove kinesiology tape! The adhesive in both Kinesio Tape and SpiderTech Tape is designed to adhere for up to 5 days. This is the point at which skin cells begin to be sloughed off, which helps loosen the tape for easier removal.

There are two slightly different techniques for removing kinesiology tape. Try them both and see which is more comfortable for you.

removing_tape With one hand, press down firmly on the skin at the end of the taped area. Use the other hand to gently roll or peel the tape back. As the tape is lifted, continue to press the other hand as close to the intersection of skin and tape as possible.

2. Find a tape end that has loosened and gently pull it straight back with one hand. As you continue to exert a backward pull on the tape, Place the index finger of the other hand where the tape joins the skin, then slide the finger back and forth.

It is more comfortable to remove tape in the direction of hair growth, which is usually away from the center of the body on the trunk, and in a downward direction on the arms or legs.

Tape that is still strongly adhered to skin after 5 days may be loosened by soaking with baby oil or olive oil for 15-20 minutes before attempting to remove it.

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