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Kinesio Tape

Kinesio Tape at Preferred Therapy Service in Highland, CA

Kinesio® Tape was invented by Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase in 1979 as a result of much research in kinesiology, the science behind muscular and skeletal movement. Dr. Kase developed both the method and the first elastic therapeutic tape, Kinesio Tape. He also founded Kinesio, the company behind the product, in the 1980s and formed the Kinesio Taping Association (KTA) in 1984. Kinesio USA, LLC, began operating in 1994 and is headquartered in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Kinesio® Tape is a latex-free, elastic, porous cotton strip with an acrylic adhesive used for treating athletic injuries and a variety of other physical disorders. Kinesio® Tape stretches up to 140% of its original length, allowing a much greater range of motion than traditional white athletic tape. It can also be left on for longer periods (up to 4 days) before reapplication is needed. Kinesio® Tape is about as thick as the human epidermis (skin). It is designed to mimic its elastic properties to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, enhance performance, and help rehabilitate and support muscles during a sporting event.

The Kinesio Taping® (KT) Method is the rehabilitative application of Kinesio® Tape to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion as well as providing extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting.

According to Dr. Kaze, the four primary functions of Kinesio Taping® are:

  1. Supporting the muscle: Proper taping improves the muscle’s ability to contract even when it’s weakened, reduces a feeling of pain and fatigue, and protects the muscle from cramping, over-extension and over-contraction.
  2. Removing congestion to the flow of body fluids: Kinesiology tape improves blood and lymphatic circulation and reduces inflammation and excess chemical buildup in the tissue.
  3. Activating the endogenous analgesic system: “Endogenous” refers to something self-originating, and calling something “analgesic” means it can relieve pain in a conscious person. So, this requirement means that the tape must facilitate the body’s own healing mechanisms, a central focus in chiropractic medicine.
  4. Correcting joint problems: The goal is to improve the range of motion and adjust misalignments that result from tightened muscles.

These four functions drive the technology behind the tape, which features a very thin, highly elastic porous cotton top side that lets the skin breathe and an underside of sticky, water-repellant, medical-grade acrylic adhesive, which further supports the muscles and connective tissues.

By targeting different receptors within the somatosensory system, Kinesio® Tape alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin, which reduces swelling and inflammation. Kinesio® Tape can be applied in hundreds of ways and has the ability to re-educate the neuromuscular system, reduce pain and inflammation, enhance performance, prevent injury and promote good circulation and healing, and assist in returning the body to homeostasis (internal conditions remain stable and relatively constant).

Correct tension is also key to success with Kinesio Taping:

For injured or overused muscles needing relief and healing from pain and tightness, the tape is applied with no tension, starting from the tendons that hold the muscle to the bone and extending toward the muscle’s origin.

For chronically injured or weakened muscles needing support and full range of motion, the tape is applied with light tension, starting from the muscle’s origin and extending toward the tendons that hold the muscle to the bone.

In some cases, treating a patient’s condition may also require treatment of other underlying conditions. The Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP) in Highland, CA, may need to perform assessments to include manual muscle testing, range of motion (ROM) testing, gait assessment, and any other orthopedic special tests necessary to determine the best treatment for the patient’s needs.

Before the tape is applied, the Certified Kinesio Tape Practitioner at Preferred Therapy Service in Highland, CA, ensures the patient’s skin is clean and free of oils, sweat, and lotions. Otherwise, the tape will lose its adhesive abilities. After application, the practitioner rubs the tape to activate the heat-sensitive glue. Approximately 30 to 60 minutes is required for the glue to fully activate before the patient can become physically active or shower. If activity occurs before this time, the tape may come off.

Small amounts of body hair will not interfere with the effectiveness or adhesion of the tape. However, areas with significant amounts of hair should be clipped or shaved for best results and less pain when removing the tape.

How do I maintain the Kinesio® Tape once it’s been applied?

During the first few days, if an edge of the tape has begun to lift, it can be trimmed. Rounding the edges may help prevent them from lifting prematurely. To dry tape after exercising, swimming or showering, pat gently with a towel. Do not use a hair dryer because the adhesive is heat-activated and may become difficult to remove.

Can I apply Kinesio® Tape myself?

Applying the Kinesio strip with the correct degree of tension is essential. If too much tension is used, the effects are diminished. It is better not to have enough tension than too much. This is why it is vital to have the Kinesio Tape applied by a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner at Preferred Therapy Service in Highland, CA, and only after a proper evaluation of your condition has been performed by qualified health professionals.

How does Kinesio® Taping differ from the traditional McConnell method of athletic taping?

Traditionally, athletes or others with muscle injuries would tape a muscle or joint to restrict motion and prevent further injury. Kinesiology taping takes the opposite approach, using the tape to open up the muscle and allow full movement.

How do I take the tape off?

Removing tape is best done by a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner (CKTP) at Preferred Therapy Service in Highland, CA, to reduce the risk of re-injury or causing new injuries (as a result of incorrect removal). It is generally much easier to do when the patient has bathed, or the tape is moist. The practitioner will remove the tape from the top down, in the direction of the body hair, to limit any discomfort and skin irritation.