Posts Tagged ‘precut kinesio tape’

spidertech_collageThe benefits of kinesiology taping are directly related to how well the tape is applied. There are several factors that contribute to a good kinesiology tape application:

  1. Proper skin preparation.
  2. An appropriate taping configuration for the injury.
  3. Applying the tape with the appropriate amount of stretch.
  4. Holding the muscle in the appropriate position when the tape is applied.
  5. Applying the tape in the optimum position in relation to the injured structures.

There are several excellent instruction manuals available that provide detailed instructions for a wide variety of tapings. Most of them, however, require at least a moderate understanding of medical terminology, and anatomy to understand what they say. So, where does that leave the average consumer who wants to work with kinesiology tape, but doesn’t have the background to understand most of the instructions?

The first thing I would recommend is to start with pre-cut kinesiology tape, rather than tape from rolls. A relatively new company called SpiderTech makes 16 different precut configurations for various parts of the body. This alone eliminates the need to design applications and cut the tape into different types of strips. Every precut kinesiology tape product comes with illustrated step-by-step instructions for applying it. This alone cuts the learning curve by a huge amount over learning to apply tape from rolls.

But, the best thing about the SpiderTech products is that each one of them also has an accompanying video of a medical professional applying the tape, and verbally describing each step of the process. And, better yet, forget the astronomical cost of purchasing manuals and dvd’s – these videos are available online, for free!

youtube_icon_largeRecently, I took an additional step to make it easier for my readers to access these videos. I have established a YouTube channel under the same name as I write this blog under, “TapeExpert” (for YouTube it’s all one word). Click on the YouTube icon on the left to go directly to the TapeExpert channel. There, you will be able to access the entire series of SpiderTech instructional videos in one convenient location. If you click the “Subscribe” button for the TapeExpert channel, you will receive notification any time I add a new video.

They say that a picture’s worth a thousand words. With the advent of online video, that should be upgraded to “a video’s worth a thousand pictures!”

Happy watching!

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kinesiology_tapeWondering what that funky-looking, colored tape is that so many athletes are wearing these days? It’s called kinesiology tape, and it has become an overnight sensation among injured athletes, people with chronic inflammatory conditions, accident victims and individuals recovering from surgery.

The surprising ability of this lightweight, thin, stretchy therapeutic tape to quickly relieve pain and reduce inflammation makes it effective for a wide range of conditions. Although best known as an athletic tape or sports tape, its uses extend well beyond the realm of athletics. Following is a partial list of conditions known to respond favorably to kinesiology taping.

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

Muscle Pain or Spasms – 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, Tennis Elbow, Golfer’s Elbow

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

Following are some important things to know about kinesiology tape:

1. Kinesiology tape can be bought in rolls or pre-cut applications for specific body parts. Home users with no kinesiology taping training should begin with precut kinesiology tape.

2. When properly applied, one application of kinesiology tape can be worn for up to 5 days. It will remain firmly in place through showering, swimming and even heavy sweating.

3. The therapeutic benefits of kinesiology tape continue around the clock for the entire time it’s worn. Thus, a single kinesiology taping application can be compared to receiving continuous therapy 24/7 for up to 5 days.

4. Kinesiology tape is made from high grade cotton with a hypo-allergenic acrylic adhesive. It contains no latex and no medication. Very few people experience skin reactions to kinesiology tape.

5. Kinesiology taping is safe and effective for people of all ages, from infants to the elderly.

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Part 1: Precut Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology taping is everywhere these days. From professional athletes to school sports teams to therapy clinics, the use of kinesiology tape to reduce pain and inflammation from injuries, surgery and chronic conditions has become the “go to” therapy. Initially, the use of kinesiology tape was limited to health professionals who had special training in cutting and application techniques. Now, however, more and more home users are trying kinesiology taping for the first time.
One of the factors contributing to the upsurge in home use is the recent introduction of pre-cut kinesiology tape for specific parts of the body. While cutting and applying kinesiology tape from rolls requires significant expertise, most people can quickly acquire a basic proficiency in applying precut kinesiology tape with no formal training. For this reason, I recommend that all home users begin with pre-cut kinesiology tape. Only after experiencing success with this simpler method of application, should home users attempt to work with rolls of tape.

The only manufacturer of pre-cut kinesiology tape for specific body parts is SpiderTech Tape. There are currently 16 different  SpiderTech applications: Ankle, Calf and Arch, Elbow, Full Knee, Groin, Hamstring, Hip, Lower Back, Neck, Shoulder, Upper Back, Upper Knee, Wrist, Small Lymphatic, Medium Lymphatic and Large Lymphatic. The first 13 applications are designed for specific body parts, while the three lymphatic applications can be used on any part of the body to reduce severe swelling and edema.

lower_back_spiderEach SpiderTech product comes individually packaged, with step-by-step application instructions included. The backing of the tape is marked by individual, sequentially numbered sections. After tearing the backing along all of the serrations, the backing is removed from one section at a time, allowing the tape to be applied in easy-to-handle segments. This helps prevent a common problem among beginning tapers – removing too much backing and getting the tape stuck to itself!

The top image depicts the reverse side of the SpiderTech Lower Back application, showing how it will be applied in 5 separate sections. The bottom image shows the Lower Back Spider after application, with the numbers indicating the sections from the reverse side. Every SpiderTech product comes with similar images, making it easy to visualize how it will be applied.

With that said, however, there is a learning curve involved with applying even pre-cut kinesiology tape. It’s a good idea to start with 2-3 applications and not feel discouraged if full benefits aren’t achieved the first time. Experiment with various amounts of stretch in both the tape and the muscle to see which combinations provide the best results.

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In the last few months the athletic therapy community has been invaded by a new breed of spiders. These spiders are leaving their distinctive marks on the necks, shoulders, elbows, wrists, backs, thighs, calves, ankles and feet of injured athletes. Rather than a cause for alarm, as one might first think, this spider invasion has been welcomed with open arms. Why? Because the spiders I’m talking about are therapeutic spiders, made of kinesiology tape … the thin, stretchy “miracle tape” that relieves pain, reduces inflammation and enhances function.

st_nicole_branaghKinesiology tape hit the big time at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where many of the world’s top athletes were seen wearing it on their injured or overused body parts. Instantly, people around the world started searching for this therapeutic phenomenon. Hundreds of thousands of rolls of the black, blue, pink or beige tape were sold. Unfortunately, many of these purchasers experienced a let-down after they found it, as they discovered that it was almost impossible to create, cut and apply the intricate configurations of tape without specialized training.

This is where the spiders enter the story … or SpiderTech, to be completely accurate. SpiderTech Tape is the next generation in kinesiology tape – pre-cut, individually packaged kinesiology tape applications for specific parts of the body. No designing, no measuring and no cutting are required.

spidertech_full_kneePulled groin muscle? Try the SpiderTech Groin Spider. Follow the simple instructions in the package and on the back of the tape, and you’ll have your own kinesiology tape application in a matter of minutes! Stiff neck? Try the Neck Spider. Plantar fasciitis? There’s a Calf & Arch Spider that works wonders. A Wrist Spider can be used for carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as strains and sprains. Other applications include Neck, Shoulder, Elbow, Upper Back/Postural, Lower Back, Hip, Hamstring, Ankle and three sizes of Lymphatic applications (designed to reduce severe swelling and inflammation).

The products are backed with excellent instructional materials, both in the packaging and online. Free printable PDF’s are available providing step-by-step instructions for each of the 15 applications. For those who prefer to both see and hear instructions, there is also an instructional video for each product.

Who’s using SpiderTech now? Coaches and trainers are carrying it in their kits. Athletes keep them in their sports bags, for quick application should an injury occur. Many physical therapists and chiropractors have incorporated kinesiology taping into their practices, and are loving the speed, simplicity and duplicability of working with pre-cut kinesiology tape applications.

SpiderTech Tape can be used to treat acute or chronic injuries, as well as to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place. In addition to rapidly relieving pain and inflammation, it also enhances activation of muscles, providing a natural boost to performance.

If you’re dealing with strains, sprains, any of the “itis” disorders, swelling and edema, stiffness, fatigue, cramps or spasms, it could be time to go on a Spider hunt!

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