BLOG, INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
Resources, discussions and information produced by Charlotte Lattin - Level 5 Sports, Remedial and Holistic Massage and Soft Tissue Therapist, Movement Coach, Psychologist, Runner, Swimmer, Yoga practitioner, Lover of Outdoors, Mum to 4 children, Owner of a crazy dog (and a couple of other dogs) and fascinated by all things to do with how our bodies and minds work...
Enjoy it? Sign up to receive details of new posts as they go live.
This weekend I have been training in the application and use of Kinesiology Taping - this is a great addition to a massage therapists options as it can help so much with muscular issues and postural problems. Not to mention that it looks very cool - .
So this taping method is what you may well have seen on many athletes in the Olympics (looks good, right?) but it's also useful for those who are not quite as sporty. It differs from conventional sports taping as it allows movement and has more applications in terms of remedial corrections.
Kinesiology taping method was developed in 1979 in Japan by a chiropractor unhappy with the restricted mobility caused by conventional sports taping.
He wanted something for his clients to use between appointment sessions to increase efficacy of manual therapy for lasting results that did not restrict movement but aided recovery and posture.
So what is it and what conditions does it cover? Kinesiology Tape is cotton and a small amount of nylon - it's latex free and suitable for even fragile skin (unlike conventional sports tape). It has a wave-like pattern, allowing the skin under the tape to breathe. The tape itself only stretches on the longitudinal axis. If properly applied, kinesiology taping can be used for virtually anything from chronic pain, muscular hypertrophy, postural problems and even menstrual pain.
Kinesiology tape can be a huge asset for athletes. The tape can be applied prior to events, in the middle of workouts or events in the case of sudden injury or as a post-workout or massage remedial tool. The tape is extremely strong and can be applied with different tension strengths according to the type of action required.
Many therapists will use different tension strengths and techniques to allow the muscles and ligaments to have support or inhibition when injury occurs.
The tape essentially stabilizes an area, for example the shoulder, to prevent any further damage.
The great thing about the Kinesiology tape is that it still allows for range of motion, just not so much that you are likely to injure yourself further.
Another important aspect of Kinesio tape for athletes is rehabilitation. Many times athletes experience that after a competitive event their body is exhausted or broken, or it may be that a non-competitive athlete has overtrained, but in either case rehab is needed. Manual manipulation is important to rehabilitation. Using Kinesiology tape after a manual manipulation session can increase efficacy of your treatment.
The tape can help open up fascial tissue to make manual manipulation easier. It helps athletes after manual manipulation in that it gives a continuous amount of stabilization to the affected area and gives muscles and ligaments a chance to rebuild and restore by taking the pressure off of those areas that have been worked on manually.
The Kinesiology taping method also helps with alignment. If you have a tendency to slouch or have an area of the body that is not properly aligned the tape can bring the body back into alignment and help the athlete sense how this feels in the body. Having correct alignment can decrease pain and help the joints recover from activities.
Kinesiology tape also decreases pain in certain areas of the body that may be bothersome. Most athletes tend to have lower back pain. After manual manipulation, the tape can be placed on the affected area (using a different method or style of taping depending on the area) to decrease pain and discomfort. If there is bruising or swelling, there is a taping method that helps drain fluids into the lymphatic ducts to decrease swelling and help rid the body of bruising.
Most athletes tend to know if they have rolling ankles or patellar tracking issues, just to name a few ailments that I routinely hear in my office. Kinesiology tape can be put on the affected area to prevent injuries if the athlete plans to do an event. Using tape before an event can save the athlete from future surgeries or ailments after the event itself.
With Kinesio tape it is important to know that you should always go to someone who has been trained to tape and has a background in kinesiology, anatomy, and physiology. Kinesiology tape may look simple, but there are several different combination tapes and tension strengths that a person who has been trained will know how to do and do it effectively.
Taping yourself is not an easy task, and even YouTube videos are not effective at teaching the methodology behind Kinesio taping. It is worth going to someone who can effectively tape you, and the longevity of the tape can be up to five days if you go to someone who has been trained in the kinesiology taping method.
Your body is important to your athletic career so take care of it!