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What’s the Use in Taping?

Have you ever seen sports people wearing brightly coloured tape and wondered whether it was simply a fashion statement or if it served a particular purpose? Taping is prescribed by chiropractors, physiotherapists and other manual therapists – but what’s it all about?

This type of tape is called Kinesio Tape, and was originally developed by a Japanese chiropractor, Dr Kenzo Kase, in 1973. (You read it correctly, Kinesiotape was developed by a chiropractor!) He found that although standard taping techniques like athletic taping gave excellent support to muscles and joints, they significantly reduced the range of motion in the joints. He therefore wanted to create a therapeutic tape that could support injured joints and muscles but without compromising their range of motion, and after two years of research he developed Kinesio Tex® tape.

This type of tape is called Kinesio Tape, and was originally developed by a Japanese chiropractor, Dr Kenzo Kase, in 1973.

Kinesio tape first gained worldwide exposure during the Beijing Olympics in 2008, and, at the 2012 London Olympics, athletes from more than 80 countries wore the tape whilst competing. It is now commonly worn by athletes competing in top level sporting events in a wide variety of sports including football, rugby, tennis, cycling, swimming and athletics.

Kinesio tape a hypoallergenic latex-free elastic cotton tape, with a heat activated acrylic backing and is designed to have a similar weight and thickness to human skin. It allows the skin to breathe more easily, is water resistant, allowing wearers to bathe normally, and removes the moisture quickly, so the tape can be comfortably worn for 4-5 days at a time without causing skin irritation. The tape can be stretched along its length by up to 140%, which allows for a greater range of motion in joints than traditional athletic tape.

Many chiropractors and physiotherapists have had great success in using kinesio tape as an adjunct to treating a variety of conditions in their patients, such as lower back pain, knee pain, shin splints, rotator cuff injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and tennis elbow.

Our practice uses Kinesio-tape on a variety of complaints, and the majority of those patients have report that using Kinesio- tape was very effective for them.

The use of Kinesio-tape is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process whilst giving support and stability to injured muscles and joints, but without limiting the range of motion in the joints. When applied to the skin, Kinesio-tape lifts the skin from the underlying muscle, creating more space and thereby increasing the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid. This reduces inflammation and swelling, which in turn reduces pain by decreasing pressure on the body’s pain receptors. Kinesio-tape can also improve the contraction of a weak muscle, relax muscles that are too tight, and reduce muscle fatigue.

You can get tape now with slightly different properties, and it is now available in a multitude of colours and patterns, ranging from the standard beige, black, blue and pink, to patterns such as Union Jack, tattoo, cow, tiger and camouflage!

If you would like to know more on how taping can help, please contact clinic reception for more details.

Sandy Boniface (Chiropractor) and Annie Colman (Soft Tissue Therapist) both have experience in  taping methods.  If you require this service, please ask to book in with one these practitioners)


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