Awesome tan lines, and other things Kinesio-tape can do for you.
Posted by Dr. Liz Sims, PT - Redpoint Physical Therapy, Plymouth, MA
I have to say, I was skeptical... 2 classes short of an athletic training degree, I obviously understand the concept of taping, but the results that kinesiotape claimed to achieve seemed a bit "best case scenario" to me. But, I have had a ton of success recently with a variety of patients and diagnoses!
A brief history...
Kinesiology tape was developed in the 70's in Japan, but it made its public debut in the 2008 Olympics, featured on the shoulder of Kerri Walsh Jennings, an American beach volleyball star. In 2012, kinesiotape was seen on many athletes throughout the London Olympics. Since then, tons of classes and seminars have popped up to teach physical therapists and athletic trainers how to achieve optimal results through this style of taping.
How it works...
It is a cotton-based, latex-free flexible tape which is heat activated. Depending on how you apply the tape, it claims to be able to:
- provide a positional stimulus through the skin,
- align fascial tissues, create more space by lifting fascia and soft tissue above an area of inflammation,
- provide sensory stimulation to assist or limit motion, and
- assist in the removal of eduma by directing exudates toward a lymph duct (credit).
While I have yet to take a course specifically for this, I have done my research. I have used kinesiotape frequently to improve posture, reduce pain in knees, shoulders, wrists, elbows, and ankles. I have used to successfully to help reduce swelling after an acute ankle sprain. I have used it to add stability to weak joints, and to support irritated ones.
And it seems to work! I have helped 2 people complete a marathon, helped 3 people tolerate their work day, and I helped a young lady finish strong with her state championship high school golf team, among other successes. But, it's not a magic trick, and it isn't going to work for all injuries. If you think you might be a candidate, come and chat with me. I offer a pay-for-service for kinesiotaping - a walk-in service with no insurance or doctor's approval required. And even if kinesiotape isn't the answer, remember my motto: "I can fix it!"
P.S. First person to guess whose leg is in the picture at the top of this blog will win free Redpoint swag. Anyone who belongs to this leg can't vote!