K-Taping. What is it? and What’s All The Hype?

November 4, 2016 7:19 pm Published by

Recently many Olympic athletes have been seen sporting brightly colored tape on different muscles and body parts. It has become increasingly popular over the last few years. So what exactly is all the hype and what is the purpose of it? This type of taping is called the Kinesio Taping Method.

What is the Kinesio Taping Method?

It is a rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process by providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion. It can relax or stimulate muscles based on how it’s applied and what tension is used. The taping targets different receptors within the somatosensory system to alleviate pain as well as facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. This lifting effect in the skin increases interstitial space and allows for an increase in blood flow in and out of the injured area.  Kinesiotaping is safe to use on a variety of patient populations from paediatrics to geriatrics, and can be used in all stages of healing: acute, subacute, rehabilitative and chronic.

Who founded the Kinesio Taping Method?

Dr Kenzo Kase – a Chiropractor, certified Acupuncturist and Moxibustion Therapist invented the method in Japan in 1979 after years of clinical research and development. He wanted something for his patients that would help maintain the benefits of his Manual Therapy techniques in between treatments. The method was introduced in the USA in 1995 and in Europe in 1998. The Kinesio Tex Gold Tape was invented and developed in 1979-1981.

What is Kinesio Tex Gold Tape?

It is the original Kinesiology tape. It is hypoallergenic, breathable and 100% latex free. The medical grade adhesive is designed in a wave like pattern to mimic fingerprints which helps in lifting the skin. There are now a variety of Kinesiology type tapes available on the market for purchase (K-tape, SpiderTech tape, RockTape, Dynamic tape, etc.) They come in a variety of colors, but they all have the same properties.

What is the Kinesio Taping Method used for?

  • Swelling control: acute sprains and strains, swelling from postop surgeries
  • Alignment: patella tracking, postural correction
  • Muscle activation/recruitment: stimulating weak and atrophied muscles post fracture and immobilization
  • Muscle inhibition: relaxing tight overactive muscles, decreasing muscle tone
  • Prevention: during sport or physical activities, poor posture
  • Can be combined with many therapeutic treatments and modalities

Is there any proof to support Kinesiotaping?

Kinesiotaping has been around for a while and is gaining popularity, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it is effective. While there are some smaller scale studies completed on Kinesiotaping, the research and science is still lacking. Hopefully with its increasing popularity, future larger scale studies will be completed to assess the effectiveness of Kinesiotaping. Despite the lacking evidence, Kinesiotaping may still be a treatment option. Ask a Physiotherapist who’s trained to properly apply the taping method about the benefits and whether it would be an appropriate addition to assist in your therapy goals. If there is no noticeable improvement over a reasonable amount of time, then move on to another treatment choice. 

Written by Joyce Lang, Physiotherapist @ Fifth Ave Physio

 

References

  • Kinesio Taping course manual. KT 1: Fundamental Concepts of the Kinesio Taping Method, KT2: Advanced Concepts and Corrective Techniques of the Kinesio Taping Method. Kinesio Taping Association International. 
  • Kase K, Wallis J, Kase T. Clinical Therapeutic Applications of the Kinesio Taping
  • 3rd Edition.  2013.
  • Kase K, Martin P, Yasukawa A. Kinesio Taping in Pediatrics. 
  • https://breakingmuscle.com/mobility-recovery/kinesio-tape-what-is-it-and-what-s-    the-hype
  • https://kinesiotaping.com
  • https://www.physiotherapyalberta.ca/public_and_patients/the_you_movement_blog/what_is_taping_and_does_it_work?page=2&batch_size=20

Categorized in: , , , , , , , ,