Kinesio Taping – How does it work?
Kinesio Tex tape is the world’s #1 elastic Kinesio tape. It is used by 78,000 practitioners in the United States and 150,000 worldwide. It is being used by professional athletes and Olympians such as Kerri Walsh of the gold medal winning US women’s beach volleyball team. Here at OrthoWell/WalkWell, we are KT1 and KT2 certified in the Kinesiotaping Method. How does Dr. Kenzo Kase , the inventor of Kinesio Taping, explain the concept of Kinesio Taping?
“ The concept of Kinesio Taping is the replication of the therapist’s hands on the patient’s skin using Kinesio tape. The Kinesio tape mimics the qualities of the patient’s skin and success of the Kinesio Taping method depends on two factors. One , proper evaluation of the patient’s condition by the therapist. Two, proper application of the Kinesio Taping technique.”
So how does Kinesio Taping work?
AFFECTS ON MOVEMENT
Proprioception is our ability to sense our body’s static position in space. Kinesthesia is our ability to sense how our bodies move through 3-dimensional space. This “sense” occurs through several different types of sensory organs under our skin and around our joints that provide our brains with information about pressure, vibration, touch, temperature, and tension. The effectiveness of the Kinesio tape lies in its ability to alter the sensory feedback that enters your nerves in the area that the tape is applied. The contact of the tape on the skin appears to increase the ability of the joint and/or tissue to detect movement and to respond to outside forces. As a result, this has a positive effect on the communication between your brain and the affected tissue which, in turn, could enhance athletic or movement performance.
AFFECTS ON PAIN
The sensory feedback from the tape has been hypothesized to reduce pain by stimulating large nerve fibers under the skin. The input from these nerves fibers travels more rapidly to the brain than the input from pain receptors. This is the concept of the Gate Control Theory of pain in that the sensory input overrides the pain input, thus, reducing the sensation of pain.
AFFECTS ON SWELLING
An important concept of applying Kinesio tape is “less is more”. Athletic taping is used with tapes of high tensile strength in order to stabilize and/or reposition a joint. Once applied, the tape resists being stretched. Kinesio tape is applied with low levels of tension. In most applications, the tape is applied with the affected tissue in a stretched position so that the tape has a convoluted appearance when the tissue is at resting length. As a result, the tape has a “lifting” effect on the skin which improves circulation and lymphatic drainage below the level of the skin. This effect can create channels of low pressure in a congested area as well as assist in opening the epithelial flaps that are present on lymph vessels resulting in a significant reduction in swelling.
“>Check out our You Tube video link in the slider on the bottom of this page to see a Kinesio Taping technique for reducing knee swelling.
Check out our post on the research behind KinesioTape.