Kinesio rehab is a form of therapy that involves the use of Kinesio taping during treatment. Kinesio taping is a rehabilitative taping technique that makes use of a specialized tape (KT tape) to provide support to an injured area of the body and at the same time assist in the healing of that area.
How Kinesio Rehab began
Dr. Kenso Kase, a chiropractor developed the elastic KT tape in the seventies. It is made of elastic fibers with a wave-like pattern on its adhesive strip which is applied directly on to the skin of the injured area.
Taping injured joints is not a new concept but traditional taping methods at the time were not popular. Traditional taping methods helped prevent further injury but they also slowed down blood circulation and the body’s natural healing process.
How Does Kinesio Tape Work?
Kinesio tape provides stabilization to an injury without immobilization. The fibers in the KT tape can stretch lengthwise by up to 60% which allows it to be easily manipulated by the clinician and provides comfort over bending joints. There is no medicine or latex in the tape. It is made of 100% cotton and elastic fibers.
Kinesiology taping method involves leaving the KT tape on for up to 5 days. The therapeutic benefits of this taping therapy are available to the injured body part 24 hours a day. This accelerates the healing process significantly.
Is Kinesio Taping safe to use?
KT tape is latex-free and breathable. As stated earlier, it can be worn 24 hours a day, for up to 5 days without any adverse side effects.
What ailments can Kinesio taping method treat?
KT tape can be used to treat a variety of orthopedic, neurological, neuromuscular, and medical conditions. Clinicians will first make an assessment to determine how the tape will be applied to specific injured areas of the body. The application of the KT tape uses specific shapes (e.g. I, X, or Y shapes), and the direction and amount of stretch are also considered to ensure successful treatment.
In 2008, Kinesio taping first became popular at the Beijing Olympics when spectators saw athletes wearing KT tape over some parts of their body. At the 2012 London Olympics, more athletes were seen wearing it in different patterns.
Clearly, more athletes are using KT tape, albeit in a more fashionable way, because they believe it works. Recently, however, even people who are not into sports are undergoing Kinesio rehab because of its benefits.
What are the benefits of Kinesio rehab?
Kinesio taping relieves pain
The lifting action of the KT Tape helps relieve pressure on pain receptors located directly under the skin. As a result, patients suffering from acute injuries experience quick relief.
Kinesiology taping is also effective for chronic pain especially for pain that persists even after an injury has healed.
Kinesio taping method helps reduce swelling, inflammation, and bruising
When KT tape is applied to the muscles, it creates space between the skin and fascia (sheets of connective tissue that encapsulate muscle fibers). As a result, pressure and inflammation, and bruising are reduced and then, lymphatic fluid which is key to healing the body, is free to move in and out of the injured area. This applies to both sports injuries and inflammatory conditions such as extreme swelling of lymphedema.
Kinesio taping provides faster recovery of overused muscles
Overused muscles typically contain byproducts of exercise such as lactic acid and this cause pain and stiffness which limits the person’s ability to continue exercising or do some tasks.
When KT tape is applied to such areas, the user will experience greater range of motion or improved performance in endurance events. It also allows for more complete recovery between repetitive, high-intensity events.
Kinesiology taping helps prevent or relieve cramping and spasms
This taping therapy enhances blood circulation to working muscles. As a result, nutrients and oxygen are delivered at the cellular level and the removal of waste products is accelerated. This helps prevent or relieve cramps and spasms in injured or overused muscles.
Kinesio taping enhances the strength and muscle tone in weak or injured muscles
Pain, injury, and various neurological and muscular disorders can cause loss of muscle strength or muscle tone. KT tape can provide support to these areas. It can also improve neurological muscle activation allowing the user to carry out therapeutic exercises more effectively.
Kinesio taping method provides structural support for weak or injured body parts
As mentioned earlier, the elasticity of KT tape allows it to be stretched lengthwise by 60%. This allows it to provide support to an injured joint or muscle and allows the patient to have a healthy range of motion while preventing harmful movements.
Kinesiology taping allows competitive athletes to remain active while injured
Since taping injuries can help relieve pain, reduce inflammation and provide support injured structures, Kinesio taping allows athletes to continue training or competing even as their injuries heal.
How effective is Kinesio Rehab?
According to a 2006 study, Kinesio rehab can help reduce inflammation and muscular weakness while enhancing postural alignment in stroke patients.
In a 2011 study, experts found that when Kinesio tape is applied to the calves of people suffering from MS, it dramatically improves their balance.
There have also been reports of a number of popular athletes who have used Kinesio taping to help heal their injuries while actively competing. Perhaps, most notable of which is Kerri Walsh who played volleyball in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
At Vigor Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation, Kinesio rehab is part of our manual physical therapy program.
You will receive superior care and patient-centered service at Vigor Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation.
Dr. Voloshin, DPT personally creates a customized physical therapy plan for each patient, all designed to address the root cause of the patient’s health problem.
If you want to speak with Dr. Voloshin about Kinesio rehab or other physical therapy treatments, you can contact us or visit us at our facility.