Clinic Blog

Kinesio Taping - Cat Fagg, Sports Therapist

19th July 2012

In March 2012, I completed a course in Kinesio Taping with the aim of implementing its use more effectively within the Rugby Union pitch side environment. However, following qualification I am amazed at the advantages its has provided in the clinical setting.

I am often asked by patients about how a "big sticky plaster" can reap such incredible benefits. It appears nothing more than a piece of stretchy, waterproof fabric which can be cut in a number of ways, stuck to the body in different patterns and comes in a variety of colours. But this is just the surface of its capabilities.

Kinesio Tape was founded by Dr Kenzo Kase in 1979 and has continued to develop since its original usage. It can now be used to successfully treat neural, myofascial and joint problems by enhancing the function of many different tissues and physiological body systems. This includes all stages of injury, whether you are newly injured or have been suffering for a long period of time. In addition to this, as it is highly tolerated by all and can be worn for extended periods the therapeutic benefit can be continued between clinic appointments. Similarly, therapeutic outcome can be accentuated by combining modalities alongside the taping, such as Cryotherapy, Manual Therapy, Hydrotherapy and Soft Tissue Release.

As with all treatment methods, the most effective have benefits that patients notice quickly. Although rarely possible, patients are often after a "quick fix" so offering them a treatment modality that can instantly decrease their symptoms and make them feel more comfortable are always well accepted. The main benefits noticed by patients are:Normal movement is not restricted
  • Very comfortable and allows the skin to breathe
  • Hypoallergenic and latex free 
  • No pre taping is required, it is applied directly to the skin
  • Water resistant
  • Long lasting effects (3-7 days)
  • Non compressive
As mentioned previously, Kinesio Tape has a number of effects upon the physiological systems of the body, to provide a therapeutic benefit. These can be achieved by different taping applications and can be described as follows:
  • Skin and Fascia - relief of pain by increasing the space under the skin/fascia and taking pressure off nerve endings that produce pain.
  • Circulatory/Lymphatic Systems  - crossing over of strips of tape causes a difference in pressure within these systems and vessels. This then increases drainage of swelling and circulation by a change in pressure gradient
  • Muscle - can be used to activate a muscle and make it work more efficiently or inhibit a muscle and allow it to relax during recovery from injury
  • Joint - can stabilise a joint by working on pairs of muscles that act on it, support ligament or tendon function and decrease pain
With hugely positive effects from Kinesio Tape to date on injuries such as Patella Tendinopathy, Plantar Fasciitis, Grade III Deltoid Strain and Grade II Gastrocnemius Strain as well as significant reductions in swelling around joints I am looking forward to seeing what else it is capable of.

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