The Wonders Of Kinesiology Tape
I first tried Kinesiology tape a few years ago while playing tennis. I was having a sharp pain in the shoulder every time I hit a serve. Naturally as a Chiropractor, I had had the shoulder adjusted by another Chiropractor with some positive results but the sharp pain during the serving motion was still happening intermittently. I had studied Kinesiology taping techniques in several education seminars but had never actually tried it myself. After I applied the tape to the shoulder I went and played.
To my amazement the pain was gone. I wore the tape for several days and played a couple of times during that span with no pain. After about five days I removed the tape. I went to play again without the tape and the pain returned. I was adjusted again and reapplied the tape…the pain was gone again. The stuff just worked. It was one of the most dramatic differences I had ever seen in many years of practice. To skip ahead a bit I went through a series of treatments with Chiropractic adjustments and rehabilitation exercises all while wearing the tape and eventually I could serve again without the tape.
If you are wondering what this tape looks like it’s the colorful tape you sometimes see Olympic athletes and other high profile athletes wear. It usually stands out and can be in a variety of different colors like pink, black, beige and blue to name a few. The way the tape works is somewhat a mystery but there are some pretty good explanations as to why it works so well.
Here is an explanation from a popular manufacturer’s website:“Tape is a very thin, porous cotton fabric with a medical grade acrylic adhesive. A special method of adhesive application and porous nature of the fabric allows the skin to breathe and showering cleans part of the skin under the tape. The tape is designed for a 30%-40% longitudinal only stretch and when applied lifts the skin and provides support for surrounding soft tissue. Depending on how it is applied, the tape supports, enables, or restricts soft tissue and its movement. By stretching and recoiling like a rubber band, the tape augments tissue function and distributes loads away from inflamed or damaged muscles and tendons, thereby protecting tissues from further injury.”
Using the tape isn’t difficult but it does help to have a working knowledge of the muscles, ligaments and joints and how they function in order to apply the tape accurately. I use the tape in my office not only during the acute phase of care but also during rehabilitation of injuries.
I find that a patient’s ability to perform important exercises that are necessary to keeping a problem from becoming chronic is enhanced by the tape. If you have ever done physical therapy or Chiropractic after an injury you may have found that some exercises cause pain every time you do it. If it causes pain you are less likely to do the exercise and more likely to do it incorrectly if you do it at all. By using the tape I found that often the discomfort during a painful movement is decreased and the patient is able to do the exercise properly. By allowing the patient to do the exercise the body can strengthen the injured area and without the tape it may not happen.
I also see a benefit for wellness and postural work. If used during posture training I feel that is adds a proprioceptive (Body’ s awareness of where it is in space) stimulus which helps the brain learn proper postures and balance. The age of seated jobs and inactivity of the postural muscles has lead to a myriad of disease processes which I documented in an earlier article in this magazine. Helping to correct this problem is extremely important in a patient’s overall health.
On a final note I have had patients try tape they found at local stores and I have had a couple of them complain that it left blisters on their skin that medical grade tape does not. This could be due to the adhesive materials used in the tape. Due to this I cannot recommend using this tape but it is a little cheaper than the medical grade tape. I also recommend that if you do try this tape to try it in a small area and test it before applying to a large area. You should also get at least one application by someone who has been trained prior to applying yourself so you know how to do it. If you would like more information or want to try an application, please don’t hesitate to call our office.
DOVER HEALTH CARE CENTER 302 736 0330