Since the Beijing Olympics in 2008, there has been a steady rise in the number of professional players we see on our televisions with colourful tape over different parts of their bodies. This is not a fashion accessory but a new technique being primarily used in the rehabilitation and sports medicine specialities. This tape is called Kinesio Tape and it was invented by Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase in the 1970s; but it was at the 2008 Olympics when its popularity and usage started to rise.
Since the invention of Kinesio Tape, it has been modified through the years to closely resemble the properties of the skin of the human body. Therefore utilising the Kinesio Taping Methods, a practitioner can facilitate the body’s natural healing process, while allowing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion. It can be worn up to 3-4 days after application – even in and out of the shower or the swimming pool.
Whilst the injury you have suffered may need to be evaluated and treated by a qualified chiropractor, Kinesio Tape can help in the length of time that is required to recover or allow you to compete in a critical upcoming sporting event.
Kinesio taping has 3 main purposes to assist in the recovery of an injury:
Firstly it can be applied across injured or unstable joints, with maximal stretch of the tape to help provide stability and support, without the restriction of movement that is evident when using conventional taping and strapping methods (Elastoplasts). Therefore, there is an improved free range of movement with support in the damaged tissues. This allows the rehabilitation of the muscular system to function as it normally would, which in turn helps reduce the time the injury needs to recover.
Next, Kinesio Tape has been seen to help improve the flow of blood circulation and lymphatic fluid (lymphatic drainage) under the skin to the site of the injury. It has shown remarkable effects in the early stages of an injury by reducing the swelling, bruising and pain at the injury site.
Finally when Kinesio tape is applied properly to a muscle, it can help facilitate and improve the muscle’s action and function. This is especially the case where we have a weakened muscle due to either injury or inactivity. Correct application of Kinesio Tape can help increase the muscle fibre stimulation which can help in the rehabilitation of the injury. Benefits can be in the stimulation of the postural muscles of the back, plantar fasciitis and patellar tracking syndrome (increasing stimulation of the Vastus Medialis Obliquus – VMO). It is theorised that Kinesio Tape stimulates the cutaneous mechanoreceptors, which in turn improves the proprioception when there is deformation created by mechanical loads (2). Hence muscles can be stimulated more effectively, whilst undergoing specific exercises to strengthen them.
For a more thorough discussion of the application of Kinesio Tape, and how it could help your particular situation, feel free to speak to one of the chiropractors at Shirley Rd Chiropractic.
- K. Kase, Wallis & T. Kase (2003) Clinical Therapeutic Applications of the Kinesio Taping Method (2nd ed)
- Halseth, T. McChensey, JW. DeBeliso, M. Vaugh, R. & Lien, J. (2004) The effects of Kinesio Taping on proprioception at the ankle. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine 3.