Kinesiotape and your Massage Therapist
Alex Matyashin RMT, R.Ac
Registered Massage Therapist
Kinesio Tape is used by massage therapists and physiotherapists
The word Kinesio Tape is comprised of two words: “Kinesio” that was derived from Kinesiology which is the scientific study of human movement (also known as human kinetics) and tape (the long, narrow strip of material). The Kinesiotaping method has been used for over 25 years in rehabilitation by massage therapists and physiotherapists. However a surge in its recognition resulted after Kinesio Tape was donated to Olympic athletes in the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics and 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Millions of people around the world observed the athletes wearing colorful tapes around their knees, shoulders, and ankles.
A reasonable question might be: “What makes this tape different form other tapes, or patches that are already used in rehabilitation and sports medicine?” Kinesio Tape’s unique properties include:
- The Kinesio Tape is very thin and made with a porous cotton fabric
- Kinesio Tape is latex free
- The fabric lets the skin breathe
- Kinesio Tape’s elasticity is comparable to that of the skin and muscles
- The sticky side of the tape uses a water-repellant, medical-grade acrylic adhesive that further supports the muscles and connective tissues
These properties allow the tape can stay put for three to four days even through sweating and showering . Unlike rigid tapes it does not restrict movement. These properties enable it to be used more effectively to restore range of joints’ motion especially in earlier stages of rehabilitation and and therefore make it the choice of rehab professionals like physiotherapists and massage therapists.
Not just for Athletes
Patients often wonder what these “web-like” symbols mean. Is it a piece of art or new trend in the high athletes’ apparel? The application of Kinesio Tape was designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while allowing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion. Both Kinesio Tape and the training protocol have shown results that would have been unheard of using older methods and materials.
Kinesio Tape’s role in massage therapy and physiotherapy
These functions drive the technology behind the tape:
- Supporting the muscle — Proper taping improves the muscle’s ability to contract even when it’s weakened, reduces a feeling of pain and fatigue, and protects the muscle from cramping, over-extension and over-contraction
- Removing congestion to the flow of body fluids — Kinesiology tape improves blood and lymphatic circulation and reduces inflammation and excess chemical buildup in the tissue
- Activating the endogenous analgesic system — “Endogenous” refers to something that is self-originating, and calling something “analgesic” means that it can relieve pain in a conscious person. So, this requirement means that the tape must facilitate the body’s own healing mechanisms, a central focus in chiropractic medicine.
- Correcting joint problems — The goal is improving range of motion and adjusting misalignments that result from tightened muscles.
From tendinitis to muscle pain and low back pain
Kinesio Tape is used to successfully treat NOT ONLY a variety of orthopedic and musculoskeletal conditions, but neuromuscular and neurological conditions such as brain injury and post-stroke rehabilitation as well. Kinesiotape is now more noticeable on tennis courts, arenas, and even in swimming pools. The blue, red, or black pieces of tape created “magical” patterns on their torsos, backs and legs. Some of the many orthopaedic conditions that may benefit from Kinesio Tape to complement treatment include:
- Rotator cuff tendinitis, impingement or bursitis
- Low back pain
- Tennis elbow
- Tendinitis and repetitive overuse injuries
- Hip pain
- Plantar fasciitis
Is Kinesio tape right for you?
The physiotherapists and massage therapists at Family Physiotherapy use the Kinesio Taping method when it is appropriate in patient care at no extra cost. If you have any question about Kinesio Taping method, or to find out if you could benefit from its use please contact one of our massage therapist or physiotherapists directly.