Physical therapists have been using athletic tape for years to help support their patients’ overworked and inflamed muscles, tendons, and joints. Athletic tape works by protecting muscles and preventing unnecessary strain by keeping muscles and tendons firm. Traditional athletic tapes are generally applied over gauze to form a stiff, somewhat inflexible, bandage with the goal of supporting or immobilizing a joint or muscle. The theory is the less the muscle moves, the less it can be strained, and therefore, it will heal faster. While this idea has been the main point for decades, more and more clinicians are starting to use kinesiology taping as their go-to resource.
You may have noticed professional athletes and olympic stars, like Kerri Walsh, wearing the multicolored tape on their arms, legs and shoulders. It has become increasingly popular for many reasons. Kinesiology tape helps relieve pain by lifting the skin, allowing blood to flow more freely to the injured area. Faster blood flow means more oxygen and more lymph drainage. This, in turn, helps to remove lactic acid. Not only does kinesiology taping increase circulation, but it also reduces muscle fatigue. It is extremely strong and flexible and is, usually, made from 100% cotton, making it latex free, which is good for those with allergies or sensitive skin. The tape is applied in a specific pattern and is either stretched or not stretched, depending on the injury. Kinesiology tape can last anywhere from two to five days. It can be worn swimming or in the shower, and it resists perspiration well.
Advanced Physical Therapy Center and Advanced Hand Rehab utilize two brands of kinesiology tape: Kinesio Gold and Rock Tape. We have been very pleased with the patient feedback and results. A patient can also purchase elastic tape at our clinics for home use. There are instructions in the box, but it is best to be instructed on its application by one of our professionals. Our Wellness Kinesiology Taping Package includes a roll of tape and three taping sessions for only $50. That is a big savings! If you are interested in trying it out, call your nearest clinic to set up an appointment.