Posts Tagged ‘kinesio taping’

st_hand_applicationOne of the greatest features of kinesiology tape is that it can be worn for several days at a time. It continues to provide therapeutic benefits, 24/7, for the entire time it is on the body. It’s like receiving physical therapy around the clock for days at a time, for only a few dollars.

With that said, however, some kinesiology tape users have experienced difficulty getting their applications to stay in place. This posting will look at the most common culprits when kinesiology tape won’t stick, and present solutions that should increase the wear time significantly.

Culprit #1 – Poor Quality Kinesiology Tape

Although all kinesiology tapes may appear identical at first glance, they are not all identical when it comes to quality. Inferior brands can actually start peeling off the skin within minutes of application, making their bargain prices quickly seem not such a good deal after all.

Solution: Don’t select your kinesiology tape on price alone. The top brand for “stickability” is RockTape, which has a stronger adhesive than any other kinesiology tapes. RockTape receives high praise from high level triathletes for its ability to remain in place through entire Ironman triathlons, including the ocean swims. SpiderTape is also a top quality kinesiology tape, being made from the original Nitto Denko tape from Japan.

Culprit #2 – Skin Oils or Lotions

Any type of oil on the skin is the kiss of death to a kinesiology tape application. This includes oils produced naturally by the skin, as well as any topical lotions, creams, etc. The skin should be as oil-free as possible before tape is applied.

Solution: Clean the skin well with soap and water and/or rubbing alcohol immediately before applying kinesiology tape. Make sure skin is completely dry before taping.

Culprit #3 – Sweat and/or Water

Kinesiology tape will remain in place throughout swimming, showering or intense perspiration … provided the adhesive has a chance to properly activate before any of this occurs. If moisture is introduced under the tape before the adhesive has been set, the tape will begin to lift very quickly.

Solution: Make sure skin is dry and oil-free before applying kinesiology tape. Immediately after applying the tape, rub it briskly (from center to ends) to activate the adhesive, then wait at least one hour before introducing any type of moisture (showering, swimming or sweating).

Culprit #4 – Body Hair

If you have a lot of body hair in the area you’re taping, the tape is going to stick to the hair, not the skin. This has two downsides. The first is that the tape will not stick well (although the pain you experience as you remove it may make you wonder). Second, the taping won’t be as effective, since it is the direct contact between kinesiology tape and the skin’s surface that is responsible for the therapeutic benefits.

Solution: Clip or shave any hairy areas before applying kinesiology tape. It will stay on longer, work better … and hurt a heck of a lot less when you remove the tape!

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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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applying_kinesiology_tapeKinesiology tape is made from cotton with a medical grade acrylic adhesive. It is latex-free and non-medicated, making it hypoallergenic for virtually everyone except those with allergies to any type of adhesive. With this said, however, a small percentage of kinesiology tape users do experience irritation, itching or redness after wearing kinesiology tape. The purpose of this blog is to examine the most common causes of skin irritation, and present some possible solutions.

True allergic reactions to kinesio tape are rare, so most rashes come from simple skin irritation. Following are some of the most common causes:

1. Too Much Stretch in the Tape – When kinesiology tape is applied with a great amount of stretch, it pulls on the skin as it attempts to contract back to its unstretched state. If only a small piece of tape is being used (as in the RockTape Pain Zapper technique), this doesn’t usually create a problem. When larger areas of skin are covered with extremely stretched tape, however, the potential for irritation or even blistering is much greater.

Solution: Be careful not to overstretch the tape when you apply it. Kinesiology tape is already stretched 25% on the paper backing, so an effective stretch can be achieved even when applying with “tape off tension.”  In general, the larger the area being taped, the less additional stretch is necessary during application

2. Applying Stretch to the Anchor Ends – The anchor ends of the tape are the final 1-2″ of every strip. When these ends are stretched during application, they will pull on the skin with every movement. After a period of time, this can cause redness and irritation.

Solution: Regardless of the amount of stretch used in each strip of tape, the final 1-2″ should always be applied with absolutely no stretch.

3. Hair Follicle Irritation in Unshaved Areas – The benefits of kinesiology taping are achieved via direct contact between the tape and the skin. A properly-applied kinesiology tape application provides continual sensory input on the skin’s surface. If the taped area has significant amounts of hair, this sensory stimulation is transmitted to the hair follicles, which can become irritated.

Solution: Clip excess amounts of hair close to skin level before applying kinesiology tape.

4. Skin Irritation in Freshly Shaved Areas – Shaving removes the uppermost layer of skin, exposing fresh skin for the first time. Because this skin hasn’t had time to “toughen,” it is more easily irritated, especially if the area is not shaved regularly.

Solution: To avoid hair follicle irritation from shaving, try clipping the hair close to the skin rather than shaving. Clipping leaves the top layer of skin intact, decreasing the likelihood of irritation.

If the above precautions have been taken and skin irritation persists, the following products have been found to be helpful when applied to the skin prior to taping: Liquid Milk of Magnesia, Benadryl Itch Stopping Gel, Maalox, Skincote and Tens Clean Coat Skin Wipes.

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kts_elbow_pain_2For 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.

Kinesiology Taping Instructions for Tennis Elbow

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Kinesiology Taping Application Tips

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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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

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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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Plantar Fasciitis is one of those conditions that is not life-threatening, but can make you feel so miserable that it sometimes seems that it’s taken over your life. Marked by pain in the arch of the foot and the bottom of the heel, plantar fascitis reminds its victims of its presence with every step they take. Once it’s taken hold, it’s very difficult to get rid of, and many people suffer for years, trying a litany of orthotics, special shoes, liniments and other fruitless remedies.

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy therapeutic tape that is particularly effective for relieving muscular pain, spasms and inflammation. Once applied, most kinesiology tape applications can be worn up to 5 days, providing therapeutic benefits 24/7 the entire time it’s worn. It has been used to effectively treat plantar fasciitis, as well as other causes of foot and ankle pain.

This is part of a series of posts presenting very simple, yet effective, kinesio 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 Foot for Plantar Fasciitis

rt_instructions_plantar_fasciitis

Kinesiology Tape Application Tips

Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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Neck pain is a common complaint among athletes, office workers, manual laborers, health care professionals … in fact, there are few people who don’t experience neck pain or spasms at some point in their lives. Many others live with it on a daily basis, ranging from those nagging little “hot spots” to debilitating pain that takes over people’s lives.

Kinesiology tape is a thin, stretchy therapeutic tape that is particularly effective for relieving muscular pain and spasms. Once applied, most kinesiology tape applications can be worn up to 5 days, providing therapeutic benefits 24/7 the entire time it’s worn.

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 Apply Kinesiology Tape for Neck Pain rt_instructions_neck

Kinesiology Taping Application Tips
Basic Kinesiology Taping Techniques

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