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What is Kinesio Taping®?

The Kinesio Taping® was developed by a chiropractor, Dr. Kenzo Kase approximately 25 years ago. It has now become the gold standard for therapeutic and rehabilitative taping. The proprietary method of taping utilizes patented and especially designed tape for clinical management of numerous musculoskeletal disorders as well as aiding in reduction of lymph edema.

One of its unique taping methods assists in restoring proper muscle function by taping over and around muscles to prevent over-contraction or under-contraction. Unlike traditional taping methods that typically are designed to restrict motion, Kinesio Taping will actually provide structural support while allowing full function and range of motion. This provides the individual functional assistance and support during the performance of their activity. Another technique which is typically utilized in the acute stage of injury and the rehabilitation process, This method of taping is designed to help reduce overuse or over-contraction and can provide facilitation of lymphatic flow for an extended period of time. The typical techniques that are used with Kinesio Taping include mechanical correction, ligament and or tendon correction, Functional taping, lymphatic drainage technique, fascial and space corrections. This method of taping can and often is used in conjunction with traditional rehabilitation methods and physiotherapeutic modalities.

Kinesio Taping was designed to provide therapeutic benefit 24 hours per day. The water-resistant tape is worn for multiple days, usually no more than 5 consecutive days, allowing it to provide the individual ongoing therapeutic benefit during their daily activities. This approach helps to enhance recovery and can greatly minimize the amount of time typically needed for rehabilitation and treatment. Since its introduction into United States various practitioners of the healing arts including MD's, DC's, PT's, OTC's and ATC's have been effectively using this therapeutic method in hospitals, clinics, high schools, universities as well as in professional sports.

Kinesio Taping® Method Applications

There are multiple methods of application utilizing the tape's elastic design. The degree of the stretch used by the practitioner while applying the tape, along with the direction of the tape application determines the therapeutic outcome desired. The theory behind two of the most commonly used methods of taping (facilitation or inhibition) is to either increase or decrease the neurological input of a muscle so as to either facilitate or inhibit its recruitment by the nervous system. The intention is to help retrain the nervous system in proper muscle recruitment patterns and decrease overuse and synergistic dominance that typically results from it.

In the lymphatic drainage method the Kinesio Tape is applied with little to no tension. This will allow for a "lift" of the superficial skin layer. This "lift" will in turn help reduce the internal pressure created by the increase in the interstitial fluid, (typically caused by acute trauma) and provide for less resistance along the body's lymphatic channels and circulatory systems. The reduction of pressure provides for a more rapid absorption of the fluids that have accumulated in or around the tissue being treated. In this method a web shaped design of the Kinesio tape is applied over and around the swollen tissues. The tape is usually funnel shaped when applied, pointing toward the closest lymphatic drainage channel.

In another method, where ligament or tendon correction is desired the Kinesio tape is stretched to a specific tension level in order to aids these structures along with their function. Again, there is no restriction of motion; only the added elasticity of the tape to aid the tendon or ligament in its specific function while the body works on repairing the damage and the clinician is assisting the individual with the rehabilitation process.

In the functional taping technique the tape is stretched to its maximum and applied over the overused muscle(s). This will allow for a "rebound" effect and will help minimize the amount of force needed for the contraction of the muscle in question.

In all application caution is exercised to prevent lateral shearing forces. This even more important when treating the geriatric population who may have systemic illness, traumatized, fragile or hypersensitive skins. Improper application of Kinesio Tape can cause micro trauma and result in blistering of the skin causing increased edema and itching. Lack of proper application may also cause overstimulation of the body's sensory nerves known as nociceptors resulting in increased pain.

It is therefore highly recommended that Kinesio Tape be applied only by properly trained and certified Kinesio Taping professionals. Dr. Hamid Sadri has successfully completed the training and certification process and is a full body Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP).