Archive for the ‘Health Professionals’ Category

Spider Tech Gentle Kinesiology Tape for Sensitive Skin

My last post introduced an exciting new product to the kinesiology taping industry–the first kinesiology tape for individuals with sensitive skin. Made by the makers of industry-leading SpiderTech Tape,  the new product line is called SpiderTech Gentle. This post will examine the issue of skin irritation with kinesiology tape and discuss the features of Spider Tech Gentle tape that minimize this problem.

What Causes Skin Irritation with Kinesiology Tape?

All of the leading kinesio tape brands utilize a hypoallergenic acrylic adhesive that is applied to the back of the tape in a wave or tread pattern. The effect is that of ‘ridges’ of adhesive that adhere to the skin, with small troughs in between to channel away moisture. As the body moves, the ridges of adhesive pull lightly on the skin’s surface, setting up a sensory neurofeedback loop that is responsible for the dramatic pain relief benefits associated with kinesio taping.

While the vast majority of kinesiology tape users never experience skin reactions, this pulling action may be enough to generate redness or itching in individuals with very sensitive or fragile skin. (For a more detailed discussion of this issue, see my post, Kinesiology Tape – Avoiding Skin Irritation.) Other individuals with fragile skin may do fine while the tape is on, but experience problems from damage to skin cells when the tape is removed.

What Makes SpiderTech Gentle Different?stratagel_adhesive

SpiderTech’s patented Stratagel™ adhesive is a moist, gel-like substance that can adhere uniformly across the skin’s surface. This smooth, adhesive layer lacks the ridges that can cause skin irritation.

Less Skin Damage when Spider Tech Gentle is Removed

Skin Cell DamageThe ridges of solid acrylic adhesive material on conventional kinesiology tape adhere strongly to the top surface of the skin. Individuals with sensitive or fragile skin, such as the elderly, infants and children, may experience damage or removal of skin cells when the tape is removed.

The moist, gel-like surface of the StrataGel adhesive adheres smoothly to the skin’s surface, but is able to separate from the skin more easily when the tape is removed, greatly reducing the incidence of skin cell removal, skin cell damage, redness and irritation. It can be comfortably worn for up to 3 days, followed by immediate reapplication if desired.

SpiderTech Gentle kinesiology tape for sensitive skin is available in both rolls and precut kinesiology taping applications.

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Kinesiology Tape for Even the Most Sensitive Skin

Great news for kinesiology tape lovers who struggle with rashes or itching due to sensitive skin. The SpiderTech Tape company has just introduced a full line of kinesiology taping products for those with sensitive or fragile skin.

SpiderTech Gentle Kinesiology Tape for Sensitive SkinAlready the industry leader in precut kinesiology tape applications for a wide range of body parts, Spider Tech has now made each application available in the Gentle line, as well. For those who prefer to work with rolls of kinesiology tape, SpiderTech Gentle is also available in SpiderTape rolls.

Spider Tech Gentle tape utilizes a new gel-like adhesive called Stratagel™ that adheres smoothly to the skin, maintaining its grip, without causing irritation. Its high moisture content allows it to grip the skin without irritation, allowing it to be worn comfortably for up to 3 days.

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PowerTaping … Taping Movements, Not Muscles

powertaping_icon_lg“RockTape” and “PowerTaping” have been all the buzz lately, ever since NBC profiled these exciting new kinesiology taping products during their coverage of the Winter Olympics. My last post featured an overview of RockTape, also referred to as Power Tape, plus a video of the NBC segment.

Going hand-in-hand with RockTape is an innovative new kinesiology taping method called PowerTaping. Rather than taping an isolated joint or muscle group, PowerTaping protocol focuses on the entire chain of joints, muscles, fascia  and nervous system components responsible for specific movement patterns. The result? Improved efficiency of movement, structural reinforcement of correct motor patterns, and improved fluid dynamics, which all contribute to reduced fatigue, faster recovery and improved biomechanical function.

Benefits of Power Taping

powertaping_for_cycling» Delayed onset of fatigue
» More rapid recovery
» Improved flexibility/range of motion in tight muscles
» Relief of swelling, edema and bruising
» Stronger activation of weak, injured or imbalanced muscle groups
» Regained coordination in weak or injured muscle groups
» Correction of balance insufficiencies
» Regained speed after injury or overuse
» Enhanced muscle activation (timing)
» Relief from muscle inhibition following injury or overuse

The image above illustrates one of the possible sport-specific movement chains for cycling. The upper body taping reduces fatigue and muscle vibration in the shoulders, upper arms, forearms and wrists – areas that fatigue in events such as time trials.

Note: The PowerTaping Manual is written for sports practitioners, and demonstrates how to apply RockTape power tape to increase athletic performance. It also provides an overview of the science behind the protocol.

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My last two posts covered resources for learning to apply precut kinesiology tape and resources for beginners working with rolls of tape. This post will focus on resources for health professionals interested in learning to apply kinesiology tape from rolls. Because of the diversity among patients, health professionals have a greater need for the customization that is possible when cutting applications from rolls of tape. Applications can become quite complex for patients with complicated injuries. It is important to understand both the basic principles of kinesiology taping as well as different taping techniques for different situations.

The following resources have been developed by the manufacturer of Kinesio Tex Tape, but the application principles are identical for either SpiderTape or Rock Tape.

Clinical Therapeutic Applications of the Kinesio Taping Method

kt_manual_clinicalThis detailed, technical manual was written for individuals with an extensive understanding of anatomy and medical terminology. It begins with an excellent introduction to the concepts of Kinesio Taping and the rationale and methodology for the 7 different corrective taping techniques. This is followed by chapters for different parts of the body, with detailed explanations and step-by-step photographs for a wide variety of injuries and medical conditions.
(2003) 8.5″ x 11″ Softcover, Spiral Bound, Black & White, 249 pages, $49.99.

Kinesio Taping for Lymphoedema and Chronic Swelling

kt_manual_lymphodema The most recently-published Kinesio Taping manual, it is beautifully illustrated, with simple, step-by-step, full color photographs. It contains detailed explanations and instructions for promoting lymphatic drainage using a variety of taping techniques. It also covers basic taping techniques for a variety of other injuries and health conditions. This manual is recommended for individuals with a good understanding of anatomy and medical terminology or experienced professionals who have been trained in the Kinesio® Taping Method.
(2006) 8.5″ x 11″ Softcover, Spiral Bound, 172 pages with color photos, $59.99.

Kinesio Taping in Pediatrics

kt_manual_pediatricsDeveloped for pediatric medical practitioners and therapists, this comprehensive manual covers conditions that affect children from infancy through adolescence. It begins with an excellent introduction to the concepts of kinesiology taping and a detailed overview of the seven different corrective taping techniques, followed by condition-specific instructions. Its user-friendly format includes numerous color photos to accurately demonstrate each of the taping techniques.
8.5″ x 11″ Softcover, Spiral Bound, 218 pages with color photos, $59.99.

Clinical Kinesio Taping DVD.

kt_dvdThis introductory DVD introduces the Kinesio® Taping Method and its applications for clinical settings. It explains how kinesio taping can be used as a therapeutic modality for a wide variety of common medical conditions or injuries. Certified Kinesio Taping Instructor Jim Wallis, MS, ATC guides viewers, step by step, through the proper selection and application of appropriate Kinesio Taping techniques. Includes concepts, applications and several taping techniques.
Run Time 41 minutes. $54.99

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RockTape has become the new buzzword on the Ironman circuit these days. It’s “active recovery” properties are helping endurance athletes go stronger, longer–and then recover faster after they’ve finished. My last post briefly outlined five key features that allow RockTape to slow the onset of fatigue and accelerate the process of recovery. This post examines each of these features in greater detail:

1. Greater Elasticity

While most kinesiology tapes have 130-150% stretch, RockTape offers 190% elasticity, giving it a higher tensile strength than other tapes. This allows it to provide superior reinforcement of proper movement patterns, increasing the efficiency of movement. Increased efficiency is directly related to reduced fatigue.

2. Enhanced Lifting Ability

The additional elasticity provides a more consistent lifting of the skin over the taped area, enhancing blood flow to the working muscles. This delays the onset of fatigue during training/competition, and accelerates recovery via a more rapid removal of lactic acid and other metabolic byproducts.

3. Tighter Weave

RockTape is made from 97% high-grade cotton, reinforced with 3% nylon 6/12. This allows RockTape  to provide superior structural support, without compromising range of motion.

4. Greater “Snap Back”

The combination of the tighter weave pattern and the enhanced elasticity give RockTape a greater “snap back” or recoil effect. This allows muscles to move more quickly through the contraction/relaxation cycles responsible for movement. The more quickly a muscle can return to a resting state after contracting, the more quickly it can generate the next stimulus to continue its activity.

5. Patented Adhesive Pattern

The acrylic adhesive on RockTape is stickier than other tapes. It is also applied in a new Plow Pattern that looks similar to the tread on a tire. Think of how a tire tread channels water away from the surface to create better contact and less slippage on the road. RockTape’s adhesive backing has the same effect on skin. This allows it to more efficiently remove water and sweat, creating the best “stickability” in the industry.

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kinesio_web_cutPart 5 – The Web Strip

Web strips are pieces of kinesiology tape with solid ends and 4-6 longitudinal cuts extending through the center section. When applied to the skin, the strips are separated from each other by pulling the center of each strip away from the center of the treatment area.

These complex-looking applications are designed to lift the skin above a painful, swollen area, relieving pressure on pain receptors and enhancing lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling and edema.

kt_cut_webHow to Cut a Web Strip

Place the joint into a position of maximum stretch to measure the length of tape required. Cut a piece of Kinesio Tape to the desired length, then bring the ends together folding the tape in half. Make parallel longitudinal cuts from the fold towards the ends of the tape, leaving approximately 1” uncut at the end.

How to Apply a Web Strip

There are two different methods for applying web strips:
1. Place the joint to be taped into a position of maximum stretch. Apply one end of the web strip with no stretch just below the area to be treated. One at a time, remove the backing from the web strips, and apply them over the treatment area. Begin with an outside strip, stretching the center portion slightly away from the treatment area. Maintain a separation of at least 1/4″ between each strip. Finally, apply the other base end, also with no stretch in the tape.

2. Place the joint to be taped into a position of maximum stretch. Begin by tearing the paper backing in the middle of each web strip. One at a time, peel back the backing from one end of each strip and apply to the treatment area with a light stretch. Maintain a separation of at least 1/4″ between strips as they are laid down. When all strips have been applied, remove the backing from the ends and apply with no stretch.

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Part 4 – The Fan Strip

kinesio_fan_stripA fan taping is done with a strip of kinesiology tape that is solid at one end and has 3-4 parallel, longitudinal cuts in the other end, creating 4-6 narrow strips. These instructions are for those working with rolls of kinesiology tape, such as SpiderTape or Kinesio Tex Tape.

What is a Fan Strip Used For?
Fan strips are used in lymphatic tapings to reduce swelling and edema. The goal of lymphatic SpiderTech tape is to create an area of decreased pressure under the tape that allows lymphatic fluid to drain away through nearby lymph ducts. In many situations, more than one fan strip will be used, with the tails overlapping from different directions.

kt_cut_fanHow to Cut a Fan Strip
Place the muscle to be taped in a position of maximal stretch. Measure the length of tape required to cover the entire muscle. Cut a length of kinesiology tape slightly longer than the muscle, then make the desired number of longitudinal cuts, beginning at one end and finishing approximately 1” from the other end. Round the corners of all cut edges to prevent curling and fraying.

How to Apply a Fan Strip
Remove the backing from the base of the tape, and apply it. with no stretch, slightly above the lymph node to which the fluid is to be directed. Rub briskly to activate the adhesive. Move the muscle into a stretched position for application of the tails of the tape. Begin peeling the backing from one of the outer strips, applying it with a very light stretch along the outer edge of the edema or swelling. Apply the next strip parallel to the outer strip. Once the first half of the taping is completed, repeat the process with the other half, laying the tape along the opposite border of the swollen area.

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Part 3 – The “X” Strip

kinesio_x_stripThis is the third in a series of posts examining the different cuts that can be used to create effective kinesiology taping applications. These instructions are for those working with rolls of kinesiology tape, such as Kinesio Tex Tape or SpiderTape.

An “X” strip is a piece of kinesiology tape with longitudinal cuts extending in from both ends toward a solid center section. When the tails on each end are separated and applied to the skin, the taping resembles an “X.”

This taping configuration is often used on muscles that cross two joints. The origin and insertion of these muscles change according to the movement pattern of the joint, i.e., the Rhomboid.

kt_cut_XHow to Cut an “X” Strip
Place the muscle to be taped in a position of maximal stretch. Measure the length of tape required to cover the entire muscle. Cut a length of Kinesio Tape slightly longer than the muscle, then cut down the middle of the tape from each end toward the center, leaving the center portion intact. The length of the cut ends in an unstretched state should be approximately the same length as the center portion when stretched. Round the corners of all cut edges to prevent curling and fraying.

How to Apply an “X” Strip
Tear the backing of the tape across the solid center area and remove the backing to where the tape splits. Stretch the center portion of the tape and apply it directly over the muscle belly. Rub the tape to activate the adhesive. One at a time, remove the backing from the tails and apply them, with no stretch, around the outer boundaries of the muscle.

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Part 2: The “Y” Strip

kt_body_knee_3This is the second in a series of posts examining the different cuts that can be used to create effective kinesiology taping applications.

The “Y” strip is the most widely used of all of the cuts, especially when applying Kinesio Tape for sports injuries. It consists of a length of kinesiology tape with a single longitudinal cut beginning at one end and continuing for a specified distance along the center of the tape. The other end of the tape is left intact. When the two “arms” of the tape are separated and applied along the outer borders of the muscle belly, it resembles the letter “Y.” The “Y” strip may be used alone or in combination with one or more “I” strips for added benefits.

Functions of the “Y” Strip
“Y” strips can be used for:
1. Facilitating the activation of a weak muscle to help it contract more effectively
2. Inhibiting the activation of an overused or injured muscle to protect it and help it recover.
3. Mechanical correction of unsafe or inefficient movement patterns.
4. Reducing pain and inflammation.
5. Softening scar tissue, reducing adhesions and pitting, making scars softer, flatter and more pliable.

kt_cut_YHow to Cut a “Y” Strip
Cut a piece of Kinesio Tape, approximately 2″ longer than the muscle.  Beginning cutting longitudinally down the center of the tape, leaving the final couple of inches intact. Round the corners of all cut edges to help prevent the corners from catching and loosening prematurely. A 3-tail “Y” strip can also be used. In this case, two longitudinal cuts are made in the tape, creating three strips of equal width.

How to Apply a “Y” Strip
The base of the “Y” strip should be applied slightly above or below the belly of the muscle being taped. The two tails of the “Y”  are applied along the outer borders of the muscle belly. For a 3-tailed “Y” taping, the center strip is applied directly over the belly of the muscle.

For most tapings, both the base and the tails of the Y are stretched as the tape is applied, except for the final 1-2″. The amount and type of stretch, however, can vary considerably depending on the purpose of the taping. This more advanced information will be covered in future postings.When applying tape with a stretch, be sure to follow behind the area of application, rubbing with a thumb or finger to activate the adhesive.

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kinesiology_tape_usesFew products have exploded onto the therapeutic scene the way kinesiology tape has in the last year. First developed in Japan over 30 years ago, it leaped from relative obscurity to the international spotlight after the 2008 Beijng Olympic Games. It is now a staple in the practices of progressive athletic trainers, chiropractors, physical therapists and physicians. And the recently-introduced precut kinesiology tape is so simple and effective that thousands of home users are now ordering it online for personal use.

Because of kinesiology tape’s unique actions on blood circulation, lymphatic drainage, pain gate mechanisms and muscle activation, its uses span a wide cross section of conditions. Following is a partial list of conditions that have responded positively to kinesiology taping:

Joint Pain – Arthritis, Bursitis, Lupus, Degenerative Joints, Poorly Aligned Joints, Joint Instability

Muscle Pain – Torn Muscles, Pulled/Strained Muscles, Tight Muscles, Fibromyalgia, Muscle Spasms, Muscle Cramps, Calf Strain, Pulled Hamstring, Groin Pulls, Strained Gluteals, Abdominal Strain

Soft Tissue Injuries – Tendonitis, Strained Tendons, Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis), Golfers Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis), Patellar Tendonitis, Achilles Tendonitis, Whiplash, Back Strain, Neck Strain, Rotator Cuff Injuries, Iliotibial Band Syndrome

Joint Injuries – Joint Sprains, Dislocated Joints, Sprained Ankle, Sprained Knee, Sprained Wrist, Sprained Elbow, Degenerated Meniscus, Knee Cartilage Injuries, Unstable Joints, Joint Hypermobility

Overuse Injuries – Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Repetitive Stress Syndrome, Shin Splints, Iliotibial Band Syndrome, Tension Headaches

Swelling and Edema – Lymphodema, Joint Swelling, Edema, Lymphatic Congestion, Chronic Joint or Muscle Inflammation

Postural Problems – Poor Posture, Round Shoulders, Weak Muscles, Muscle Imbalance, Poor Muscle Tone, Hypotonia

Rehabilitation after Surgery – Athletic Injury Surgery, Reconstructive Surgery, Joint Replacement, Meniscus Repair, Ligament Surgery, Tendon Surgery

Bruising – Bruising following Injuries or Surgery, Contusions

Foot Pain – Plantar Fascitis, Fallen Arches

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