How to use Kinesio Taping
Kinesio taping has been used to great effect in sports for a while now but more recently there has been an explosion of people using the tape. There have been several celebrity sports people that have been pictured with the tape applied to their bodies. David Beckham is amongst the most famous. The use of kinesio taping techniques has been made much easier by the introduction of ‘pre cut’ packs of kinesio tape. Obviously some thought has gone into this as one is able to purchase these types of kinesio tape packs from a few online retailers as well as a few high street chains such as Boots, Jon Bell and Croyden and a few others. I’ve even seen this available in a corner shop although I dont think people knew what it was back then.
Uses of Kinesio Tape
Kinesio taping can be used in various forms and can provide different adjuncts to treatment of the injured body part. Its actually all in the way the tape is applied that gives you the different forms of application. People like to think that the tapes colour has a lot to do with its function, but sadly this doesn’t appear to have any statistical benefit when looking at it closely. Initally when I became interested in the tape I read about people believing that the different tapes had different healing tapes like blue for cooling down inflammed joints, black for support and red for chronic injuries that you wanted to ‘fire’ up! I dont honestly know if there is any truth in this, I suspect not though.
In my practice I use Kinesio tape for the following reasons.
- To help improve the rate of swelling reduction around an area
- Improve the feeling of Support around a Joint
- Improve muscle ‘awareness’ indirectly through the skin
When I went on my first Kinesio taping course the emphasis was on proprioception and reduction on swelling and there was some talk of improving muscle function by reducing or increasing activation in the muscle based on the direction of application. I would be keen to understand in more detail the rationale behind this if anyone has any ideas please feel free to email me I would love to discuss this more.
Although the actual hard science behind the tape is yet to be proved. The fact is that in my clinic, the coloured tape works for my clients. The use of kinesio taping in my practice by myself and the rest of the team around me has changed the way we practice. We are able to get people feeling better quicker and for longer after sessions, than before. The effect of what we do as clinicians has radically developed into a more evolved way of dealing with those in acute and chronic pain.
Who uses Kinesio taping
In my clinic time the type of people how may be treated with kineso taping, forming part of their treatment ranges from people with acute swollen joints, tennis elbow pain, back pain, muscle tears to cerebral palsy sufferers. With all of them the difference is often remarkable. I am a firm believer that the difference is not wholly down to the tape, the treatment and the reassurance that something has been done are also key points to raise when understanding the effects of the tape.
Kinesio taping for beginners
There have been times where clients have responded so well to the kinesio taping we have actually begun to show them how to apply the tape safely and in the ‘correct’ way for their condition. If you are wondering where you can buy kinesio tape from you can get some good quality kineso tape from here. Obviously to know all the variations of taping takes time and courses are a good way to understand everything that goes on.
When NOT to use Kinesio tape
Kinesio tape although helpful must not replace professional treatment and advice. There are some instances where you would not want to be caught using Kineso taping. These are the top 5 reasons why you cant use kinesio tape all the time on every injury,
- When you have not been diagnosed by a professional therapist. This is dangerous as you really could be taping up anything that is painful and potentially harmful, if not diagnosed and dealt with in the correct manner. Get a diagnosis and a kinesio taping session here
- Broken Skin. If the skin is broken it is not a good idea to be putting Kineso tape over the top as this could potentially lead to further damage and is a potential infection risk if not done in a sterile environment with sterile medical tape/equipment
- Elderly people with frail skin. This will not give you very good results as the skin is often too elastic and potentially may tear especially if the tape is on too tight and is restrictive to the skins natural movement.
- Over skin infections (cellulitis and erysipelas) or areas of skin redness
- When someone has reacted to plasters and kinesio tape in the past (allergic reactions). These can be very uncomfortable indeed and can certianly leave a bitter taste in your mouth if you were warned about it. The damage caused by a skin reaction can be very nasty indeed so its best to avoid this at all costs.
I hope this whistle stop tour of the uses of Kinesio taping was useful. If you would like anymore information about how to use kinesio tape or if your condition is suitable for kinesio taping please Contact Us for a free advice session in person or over the phone.