What is Kinesio Taping®
The Kinesio Taping® Method has taken the Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine world by storm. This amazing taping method was developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase over 25 years ago in Japan. Kinesio Taping® has quickly become the gold, or should we say "platinum" standard, for therapeutic rehabilitative taping. The proprietary method of taping uses a uniquely designed and patented tape for treatment of muscular disorders and lymphedema reduction.
The Kinesio Taping® Method involves taping over and around muscles in order to assist and give support or to prevent over-contraction. The first technique gives the practitioner the opportunity to actually give support while maintaining full range of motion. This enables the individual to participate in their normal physical activity with functional assistance. The second technique, which is most commonly used in the acute stage of rehabilitation, helps prevent overuse or over-contraction and helps provide facilitation of lymph flow for an entire 24 hour period. Correctional techniques include mechanical, lymphatic, ligament/tendon, fascia, space and functional. Kinesio Tex® Tape can be used in conjunction with other therapies, including cryotherapy, hydrotherapy, massage therapy, and electrical stimulation.
Kinesio Taping® affects the activation of the neurological system, the body's information processor and the circulatory system. Muscles are not only attributed to the movements of the body, but they also control the circulation of venous and lymph flows, body temperature, etc. Therefore, the failure of the muscles to function properly induces various kinds of symptoms. Consequently, more attention was given to the importance of muscle function, that the idea of treating the muscles in order to activate the body's own healing process came about. Using an elastic tape, such as Kinesio Tex® Tape, it was discovered that muscles and other tissues could be helped by outside assistance. Employment of Kinesio Taping® creates a completely new and innovative approach to treating nerves, muscles and organs.
Since the introduction of Kinesio Taping® into the US, medical practitioners from PTs, ATCs, OTs, DCs, MTs, to MDs have recognized and embraced this effective, safe and best of all, easy-to-use modality. The method and tape allow the individual to receive the therapeutic benefits 24 hours per day with both comfort and ease, because it can be worn for several days per application. Currently, Kinesio Taping® is used in hospitals, clinics, high schools and by professional sports teams.
Kinesio Taping® Method Concepts
There are two ways to apply Kinesio® Tex Tape. You can apply the tape with little to no stretch, which is described as UNSTRETCHED, or you can apply the tape while it is stretched, which is known as STRETCHED.
UNSTRETCHED: In this case, we stretch the skin of the affected area before application of the tape. This is done by stretching the muscles and joints in the affected area. After application, the taped skin will form convolutions when the skin and muscles contract back to their normal position. When the skin is lifted by this technique, the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid beneath the skin improves.
On the other hand, if joints or ligaments are injured, the tape should be STRETCHED before application to the skin. The damaged joints or ligaments are incapable of functioning normally and rely on the stretched tape for correction. It is also important to note that while depending on the injury, tape is either stretched or not stretched, this does not mean that the actual application technique will change.
To ensure that the muscles have free range of motion, elastic tapes with an elasticity of 130-140% of its original length are recommended for Kinesio Taping®. This specific elasticity also will not allow an over stretch of the muscles themselves. It may look like conventional athletic tape, but tape and Kinesio Taping® is fundamentally different. Kinesio Taping® is based on a different philosophy that aims to give free range of motion in order to allow the body's muscular system to heal itself bio-mechanically.
Kinesio Taping® alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. The taped portion forms convolutions in the skin, thus increasing interstitial space. The result is that pressure and irritation are taken off the neural and sensory receptors, alleviating pain. Pressure is gradually taken off the lymphatic system, allowing it to channel more freely.
Caution should be exercised to prevent lateral shearing forces particularly on elderly or individuals who have systemic illness, sensitive and/or traumatized tissue. Increased unindirectional pull on the skin can cause blistering or micro trauma increasing edema and hemorrhage. In addition over stimulation of pain and nociceptors of the skin may increase pain or produce itching. Kinesio USA, LLC recommends consulting your physician/Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner prior to the use of Kinesio® Tex Tape.
Muscles constantly extend and contract within a normal range, however, when muscles over-extend or over contract, such as when lifting an excessive amount of weight, muscles can not recover and become inflamed. When a muscle is inflamed, swollen or stiff due to fatigue, the space between the skin and muscle is compressed, resulting in constriction to the flow of lymphatic fluid. This compression also applies pressure to the pain receptors beneath the skin, which in turn communicates "discomfort signals" to the brain and emdash, thus the person experiences pain. This type of pain is known as myalgia, or muscular pain.
Tape can be applied as a single strip [I], or in the shapes of an "X" or "Y", depending on the shape and size of the targeted muscle(s). The basic principle of therapeutic taping for weakened muscle is to wrap the tape around the affected muscle. Start from where the muscle begins [ORIGIN] and continue along the muscle, and finish where the muscle ends [INSERTION]. This particular application process is typically used for supportive purposes. As the muscle fibers contract, Kinesio Tex® Tape supports the contraction by pulling and stimulating the skin and muscle back towards the point of origin.
For preventing cramping or over-contraction (overuse of muscles), tape should be applied from [INSERTION] to [ORIGIN]. If you are treating yourself without assistance, it is important to remember the basic principle of stretching the skin before application, no matter where the pain is located. For example, if the body-side of the forearm is the source of the pain, you should bend your hand back before applying the tape. Similarly, if the source of pain is the outside of the forearm, then the wrist should be bent forward. This principle must be strictly observed. For treatment of muscle pain, Kinesio Taping® is ineffective unless the skin is stretched. This particular application process is typically used for acute conditions such as strain or sprain, muscle spasm, and edema from injury or surgical procedures. As the muscle fibers contract, the Kinesio Tex® Tape will relax or slack said muscle.
Kinesio @ the Olympics
With this years Beijing Olympics well on its way, Kinesio® couldn't be more excited. With 204 countries participating in this years Summer Games, Kinesio Holding Corporation, as a whole, has donated the now very much so, world-famous, the one and only, Kinesio® Tex Tape to over a quarter of these countries attending. Since the games began and with the catch phrase "tattoo or tape", Kinesio Taping has been featured on NBC, MSNBC, Popular Science, national and international media and print publications, as well as national and local TV stations. Mrs. Walsh, if your are listening, I would like to take you and your husband to a nice seafood dinner upon your return!!!
As we all know, the Games are a huge event with tons of media coverage. With the assistance of all our great supporters, we have compiled what we feel is the best that we have seen thus far below. Keep checking back with us as new coverage is added on a daily basis.
Tiger Wears Red on Sunday, but Kerri Walsh Wears Black for Gold.
Congratulations to Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor on winning this years GOLD medal in Women's Beach Volleyball and becoming the first women to win back-to-back gold medals in beach volleyball history.
We at Kinesio wish you both continued success as you continue your unparalleled streak and would like to thank you for the amazing ride your success has given us thus far.
Women's Beach Volleyball
To see even more photos of USA's Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor, as well as stories about their success click on the below links.
Field Hockey (China)
Track & Field
For more Men's Basketball photos and coverage click on the below links.
Women's Water PoloBelow you will find a variety of personal photos taken by one of our own, Ted Forcum. Forcum is a CKTP (Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner) and is the '08 US Olympic Team Chiropractor. He was nice enough to forward some photos he took while in Beijing, China of Lauren Wenger, USA Women's Water Polo player. Lauren is also working with one of the many Athletic Trainers at the Olympics, Karen Bloch, ATC.
Kinesio Write-ups, Stories and Linkshttp://www.koat.com/video/17217504/index.html
Other Event CoverageFor more coverage of other Olympic events click on the links below and just see how many times you spot Kinesio.