What Is Kinesio Tape?
In his book Every Second Counts, Lance Armstrong writes “The team wasn’t just riders. It was mechanics, masseurs, and doctors. But the most important man on the team may have been the chiropractor. I could not have won without my chiropractor’s help”. He goes on to describe how, while on tour, his chiropractor would use “something better than any laser, wrap, or electronic massage device: Kinesio Tape. It’s a special hot-pink athletic tape that came from Japan and seemed to have special powers. Every morning before the stage, they would tape us all up, different parts of our bodies– George’s back, Chechu’s knees. Sometimes we’d be so wrapped up in hot-pink tape that we’d look like dolls, a bunch of broken dolls. But the next day the pain disappeared; it was gone.”
With the 2014 World Cup finishing up, everyone is asking about the “tape tattoos” seen on many of the athletes. You probably have even seen it on patients walking out of Wellness Way Chiropractic in Milwaukee. So what is Kinesio Tape and what does it do?
Kinesio Tape, also known as Physio Tape or KT Tape, is an elastic tape that gives support and stability to your joints and muscles without affecting circulation and range of motion. In our office, we most often use it to reinforce the musculoskeletal support around joints in their correct position following an adjustment, but it can also be used do decrease pain and drain edema by creating a “lift” on skin, allowing blood to flow more freely to the injured area.
For the first 10 years after its invention, orthopedists, chiropractors and other medical practitioners were the main users of Kinesio Taping. But after Kinesio Taping began being utilized by the Japanese Olympic volleyball team’s doctors, word quickly spread to other athletes. Today Kinesio Taping is used by healthcare practitioners around the world.
What’s It Used For?
The Kinesio Taping Method is applied in specific patterns by trained professionals over muscles to reduce pain and inflammation, relax overused tired muscles, and to support muscles and joints in movement on a 24hr/day basis. It is non-restrictive type of taping which allows for full range of motion. In contrast, traditional sports’ taping is wrapped around a joint strictly for stabilization and support during a sporting event, obstructing the flow of bodily fluids as a side effect.
While you should never see any kind of brace or taping as a replacement for treatments that address the root cause of injuries, Kinesio Tape has been shown to help provide relief for conditions ranging from headaches to foot problems to back pain and more. Examples include: muscular facilitation or inhibition in pediatric patients, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back strain/pain, herniated discs, knee conditions, shoulder conditions, hamstring, groin injury, rotator cuff injury, whiplash, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, patella tracking syndrome, pre and post surgical edema, and ankle sprains.
It’s important to be treated by a healthcare provider who is a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner, and has a background in kinesiology, anatomy, and physiology. Application may look simple, but it’s essential to apply the specific combination of tapes and tensions to achieve its intended effect.
Kinesio Taping at Wellness Way Chiropractic in Milwaukee
At Wellness Way Chiropractic, we’re one of the only clinics in the Greenfield and West Allis areas providing Kinesio Tape™ therapy, which we combine with chiropractic care to correct the root of the problem causing stress on the muscles and ligaments. Ready to start? To make an appointment at Wellness Way Chiropractic, call 414-367-6050 or schedule an appointment with our online scheduling app.