Posts Tagged ‘kinesio tape for sports injuries’

justine_henin_au_open_1After a year and a half away from the tour, Justine Henin is staging an amazing comeback to the top ranks of women’s professional tennis. She recently made it to the final of the Australian Open, being defeated by Serena Williams. Throughout her matches, she wore kinesiology tape on her left inner thigh, probably for a strained adductor (groin muscle).

Kinesiology taping is being embraced by athletes and trainers the world over because of its ability to relieve pain, reduce inflammation and provide support without restricting range of motion. This allows athletes with injuries such as muscle strains or overuse syndromes to continue to train and/or compete as they recover.

Because kinesiology tape is so thin and elastic, it can be worn 5-7 days, providing therapeutic benefits the entire time it is worn. This is very different from conventional athletic tape which must be removed immediately after exercise. Another difference between kinesiology tape and  conventional sports tape is the taping technique. Whereas sports tape is usually wrapped tightly around an injured muscle or joint, kinesiology tape almost never completely encircles any part of the body. Instead, it is applied over and around the affected muscle groups, as seen in the above image. This allows it to lift the skin, increasing circulation and lymphatic drainage, and relieving pressure on pain receptors under the skin.

Kinesiology tape is available in rolls or in precut kinesiology tape configurations for specific parts of the body.

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Shoulder pain is one of the most frustrating maladies to experience, because once you get it, it can be extremely difficult to get rid of. It’s virtually impossible to stop using your shoulder so you can recover from a strain or injury. Every time you wash your hair in the shower or reach up into a cupboard you’re aggravating the condition. Athletes who throw, spike volleyballs or use racquets may tweak a shoulder strain hundreds of times, just in the course of a practice or competition. Consequently, what started as a minor strain can easily become a chronic problem.

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy athletic 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 an injury such as strained shoulder muscles, providing rapid relief of pain and inflammation. This allows many injured athletes to continue to train and compete as they recover from this type of overuse syndrome. 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 presenting 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.

Kinesiology Taping for Shoulder Pain

rt_instructions_shoulder

Kinesiology Tape Application Tips

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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We’re moving into track and field season, which means that the incidence of shin splints is about to increase dramatically. Runners and jumpers are especially prone to this excruciating pain in the muscles attaching to the front shin area. Once an athlete has developed shin splints, they can become chronic, causing pain and dysfunction that can significantly impact an athlete’s ability to train and compete.

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 an injury such as shin splints, providing rapid relief of pain and inflammation. This allows many injured athletes to continue to train and compete as they recover from this type of overuse syndrome. 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 presenting 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.

Kinesiology Taping for Shin Splints

rt_instructions_shin_splints

Kinesiology Tape Application Tips

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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We’re moving into track and field season, which means that the incidence of hamstring injuries is about to increase dramatically. The knee flexion and hip extension movements involved in all of the sprinting and jumping events put a lot of strain on the hamstrings. Once injured, a hamstring injury can hang on for months, causing pain and dysfunction that can significantly impact an athlete’s ability to train and compete.

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy therapeutic tape that is particularly effective for relieving muscular pain, spasms and inflammation. When used as a therapeutic sports tape and applied to an injury such as a strained hamstring, it can provide protection and support without limiting a safe range of motion. This allows many injured athletes to continue to train and compete as they recover from this type of injuries. 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 presenting 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.

How to Tape a Strained Hamstring

rt_instructions_sciatica_hamstring

Kinesiology Taping Application Tips

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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At our kinesiology taping booth at the 2010 Houston Marathon, we taped injured runners from the minute the booth opened until it closed. Although IT band tapings definitely took top honors, runner’s knee came in a close second. Luckily, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to apply a basic runner’s knee kinesiology taping.

This is part of a series of posts presenting very simple, yet effective, 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.

How to Tape Runner’s Knee

How to Tape Runner's Knee

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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We had a kinesiology taping booth at the Houston Marathon Sports Medicine Expo last weekend, and approximately 80% of the tapings we did on the marathon runners were for the IT Band (iliotibial band). The IT Band is a sheath of fascia beginning at the hip and extending all the way down the outer thigh, ending just below the knee. It plays an important role in stabilizing the knee during running and walking. Tightness or overuse of the IT Band can cause it to become inflammed, causing considerable pain, usually at the attachment just below the knee. Once this inflammation develops, commonly referred to as IT Band Syndrome, it is very difficult to get rid of.

Kinesiology taping is one form of treatment that can bring immediate relief of pain and inflammation, as well as accelerate the healing process in those suffering from iliotibial band syndrome. The taping protocol is very simple, and can easily be mastered by anyone, even if they have no training in how to apply kinesiology tape.

The following taping technique was developed by the makers of RockTape, a new kinesiology tape engineered especially for performance athletes. It’s stronger adhesive coupled with a greater “snap back” mechanism make it ideal for endurance athletes such as marathoners and triathletes.

How to Tape the IT Band

rt_instructions_it_band

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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Therapists trained in the art and science of kinesiology taping are able to create complex applications for a wide variety of injuries and health conditions. For complicated injuries or medical conditions, this level of expertise may be required, but for everyday aches and pains no special training is necessary. Most people, armed with a roll of kinesiology tape and some basic instructions, can create an application that will effectively relieve pain and reduce swelling.

This part of a series of posts presenting very simple, yet effective, 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.

How to Tape the Groin

How to Tape a Strained Groin

Basic Application Techniques

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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One of the things that makes kinesiology tape so popular with injured athletes is its ability to quickly relieve pain from either acute or chronic injuries. Relief is often significant within a few minutes of applying the tape.

I wanted to present this short instructional video produced by the manufacturer of RockTape, a new brand of kinesiology tape engineered to improve athletic performance in addition to providing therapeutic benefits.

The “pain zapper” protocol is a simple taping technique that can be used on virtually any part of the body that is in pain. Keep a roll of RockTape and a pair of scissors handy, and you’ll be able to take care of your “owies” as soon as they occur.

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rocktape_with_logo

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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kinesiology_tape_rollsOne of the features that makes kinesiology tape different from other types of therapeutic tape is its elasticity. Kinesiology tape is designed to stretch up to 40% beyond its “resting” length (i.e., its length with the paper backing still applied). The amount of stretch in the tape can be manipulated according to the condition and needs of the individual being taped. In addition to varying the amount of stretch in the tape, the practitioner can also choose to apply the tape with the muscle in either a stretched or relaxed position.

While these options greatly increase the spectrum of benefits that can be accomplished with kinesiology taping, they can also greatly increase the confusion level for those new to kinesiology taping. The most commonly asked questions are:

  • When should I stretch the tape and when should I not stretch it?
  • If I stretch the tape, how much should I stretch it?
  • Do I stretch the entire application or only certain parts?
  • When should I stretch the muscle and when should I not stretch the muscle?
  • Should I stretch both the tape and the muscle, just the tape or just the muscle?

Although the best way to learn the answers to these questions is to take a course in kinesiology taping, there are some basic rules of thumb that can provide some clarity to the issue of stretching.

easy-to-applyIf unsure of how much to stretch the tape, it is better to understretch than overstretch. Kinesiology tape is stretched approximately 15% before it is applied to the paper backing. Therefore, benefits will be felt, even if the tape is applied as the backing is removed, with no additional stretch. Overstretching, on the other hand, can lead to skin irritation that may require removing the tape prematurely.

When a kinesiology taping application indicates stretching the tape, the anchor ends of the tape should always be applied with no stretch. Only the body of the application should utilize tape in the stretched position. This will help prevent skin irritation or over-stimulation of the injured area.

Structural or Mechanical Applications – Stretch the Tape, not the Muscle
elbow_application_step_3There are two main purposes for a structural or mechanical kinesiology taping: (1) to provide support for an injured muscle or joint, (2) to provide sensory feedback to discourage overstretching or over-contraction of an injured area. This is accomplished by stretching the tape and applying it while the muscles are held in a neutral or slightly contracted position. The amount of stretch can vary depending on the degree of support desired, but the stretch should never exceed 80% of the available stretch in the tape. The goal is to provide an “end feel” that will prevent moving beyond a safe range of motion.

Neurosensory (Pain Relief) Applications – Stretch the Muscle, not the Tape
elbow_application_step_4The purpose of a neurosensory or space correction kinesiology taping is to create more space directly above the area of pain and inflammation, reducing pressure and irration on the pain receptors. For this purpose, the muscle should be stretched to its maximum pain-free range and the tape should be applied directly from the backing with no additional stretch. After the tape is applied and the muscle is returned to its resting position, convolutions should be seen in the tape over the injured area. In addition to reducing pressure on the pain receptors, this type of taping creates an ongoing low level stimulation that helps to override the pain signals going to the brain.

Lymphatic or Microcirculatory Applications – Stretch the Muscle AND the Tape
lymph_application_step_4Microcirculatory applications are used to create areas of reduced pressure above the lymphatic channels in an injured area. This reduced pressure allows the lymphatic fluid responsible for localized swelling and edema to drain away through a nearby lymph duct. When properly applied, a rapid reduction of swelling occurs that is maintained as long as the tape remains on the body. For these purposes, the muscle is held in a stretched position while the tape is applied with a light stretch.

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