Since the time it started being noticed on the bodies of many professional sportspersons and Olympic athletes, there has been a buzz created around Kinesio Tape. When clients come to us at Advanced Manual Therapy Institute for treatment, many want to know whether this tape is all it’s made out to be. They want to know how to use it, how it works, exactly how effective it is and more.
Kinesiology Tape is also called Kinesio Tape has become so trendy, that it is now available in a range of colors and patterns as well. The question of its efficacy arises because some athletes wear it to endorse a specific brand. This tape doesn’t just have cosmetic value. It helps athletes and other sportspersons by treating injuries and preventing musculoskeletal pain. If you are wondering whether this tape can help you too, read on…
About Kinesiology Tape And How It Works
When visit us for any treatment, you can rest assured that your treatment plan will be based on proven therapies and treatments that have a scientific basis. There are a number of trends that ebb and tide and we don’t incorporate them all in our methods, just because they are popular.
But Kinesiology Tape is known to be effective in alleviating chronic musculoskeletal pain (lasting more than 4 weeks) when compared to various minimal interventions such as ice etc. As with most other treatments, Kinesio Tape doesn’t have the same effect on everyone. We suggest the use of this tape in tandem with regular physiotherapy recommended for our clients.
Kinesiology Tape Vs. Standard Athletic Tape
Many trainers and athletes use standard white athletic tape. This stiff cotton tape has been around for decades. It’s used to stabilize/immobilize injured body parts. Kinesiology, on the other hand, has special polymer elastic strands interwoven with cotton. These strands lend flexibility to the tape. When applied, it doesn’t impede the person’s range of motion at the affected part. Despite its inherent flexibility, this tape helps:
- Stabilize muscles
- Gives the athlete proprioception (awareness of muscle engagement)
- Slightly lift the skin away from the underlying muscle. This promotes blood flow to that muscle and reduces swelling.
Our physical therapists in Las Vegas recommend the use of Kinesiology Tape to treat and prevent injuries such as:
- Tennis elbow
- Shin splints
- IT band injuries
- Hamstring injuries
- Plantar fasciitis
- Achilles tendonitis
- Rotator cuff
Many of our clients also want to know whether kinesiology tape is actually as effective as some people make it out to be. This is a debatable topic. While the tape does relieve pain in some people, there is no solid scientific evidence that this tape is equally effective in everyone.
In addition, some experts aver that the direction of application- origin to insertion or vice-versa doesn’t affect muscle activation in any way. The specific tensions do not have any effect on muscle activation either.
What Our Physical Therapists Recommend
When any new products for musculoskeletal pain are launched in the market, our physiotherapists do not blindly recommend these to our clients. But after controlled use and detailed observation they have come to this conclusion- Kinesiology tape can be helpful as an adjunct in reducing musculoskeletal pain.
It has no harmful side effects and is a very safe method of pain relief. Some manufacturers of Kinesio Tape and professionals in the sports physiotherapy field make tall claims about how beneficial this tape is. Unfortunately, the opinion they popularize turn a helpful relief modality into something it isn’t, which adds to the doubt and confusion.
At the Advanced Manual Therapy Institute, we are more stable and conservative in our approach when it comes to adopting any new therapies or modalities. Nothing will be recommended because it’s the latest ‘in thing’ or because some celebrity follows it.
Kinesiology Tape- Why The Method Of Application Matters
We know that when it comes to the efficacy of kinesiology tape, the method in which it is applied helps improve outcomes. When clients come to us for any physiotherapy treatment, we work very closely with them and design tailored treatment plans.
We also educate our clients and advise them on which changes in their daily life will help improve treatment outcomes. This aspect is a very big part of what we do. Based on your condition, our Las Vegas physical therapists will tell you which exercises you need to do at home. In addition, they will also show you the right way to apply kinesiology tape.
You might have heard there are ‘specialists’ (who charge hefty fees) that will teach you various techniques and patterns of applying this tape. Keep in mind that none of these are either evidence-based or useful. It’s very easy to apply kinesiology tape:
- Place Kinesio tapeover the area that hurts, with a sight stretch (just around 25%, but no more than 50% of available stretch).
- There is no need to use awkward positions or cut varying shapes.
- If you find that the tape doesn’t decrease your pain by at least 50% after application, it might not be effective for you.
- Modify the application method a bit to determine whether it helps.
If you think that kinesiology tape will help reduce your pain, go ahead and give it a try. There are no risks or side-effects to using this tape. It’s why our physical therapists in Las Vegas encourage the use of this tape in athletes that believe it can help them.
At Advanced Manual Therapy, this tape is always used in conjunction with proven methods like therapeutic exercises. In combination, these techniques help restore muscle function and strength.