Kinesio Taping for Athletic Performance and Decreasing Pain
Active or functional taping is a contemporary taping technique designed to facilitate the body’s natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion, as well as providing extended soft tissue support to prolong the benefits of manipulation or other active/rehabilitative services.
Latex-free and wearable for days at a time, this specialized elastic tape is safe for use by any and all patients, and successfully treats a variety of orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurological and other medical conditions. Kinetic (dealing with movement) taping is a therapeutic technique not only offering patients support, but also rehabilitating the affected condition as well. By targeting different receptors within the somatosensory system, this specialized tape and application technique alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. This lifting affect gently tractions the superficial tissue layers, increasing drainage capacity and therefore decrease in inflammatory swelling of the affected areas.
Based upon years of clinical development by Dr. Kenzo Kase, the founder of the Kinesiotaping® technique, the tape is specifically applied to the patient based upon their needs after evaluation. With the utilization of single “I” strips or modifications in the shape of an “X”, “Y”, or other specialized shapes as well as consideration of the direction and amount of stretch placed on the tape at time of application, functional tape can be applied in hundreds of ways and has the ability to re-educate the neuromuscular system, reduce pain and inflammation, enhance performance, prevent injury and promote good circulation and healing, and assist in returning the body to it's normal state.
It has been proven to have positive physiological effects on the skin, lymphatic and circulatory system, fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. It can be used in conjunction with a multitude of other treatments and is effective during the rehabilitative and chronic phases of an injury, as well as being used for preventative measures.
Functional taping is applied over muscles to reduce pain and inflammation, relax overused tired muscles, and to support muscles in movement on a 24hr/day basis. It is non-restrictive type of taping which allows for full range of motion.
In contrast, traditional sports' taping is wrapped around a joint strictly for stabilization and support during a sporting event obstructing the flow of bodily fluids, which can have undesirable effects and can actually prolong healing and promote tissue weakness over time.
Functional taping can be used for anything from headaches to foot problems and everything in between. Examples include: carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back strain/pain, shin splints, knee conditions, shoulder conditions, hamstring, groin injury, rotator cuff injury, whiplash, tennis elbow, plantar fasciitis, patella tracking problems (runner's or jumper's knee), pre and post surgical edema, ankle sprains, athletic injury prevention, and as a support method.
Initially gaining favor among Japanese and Asian athletes, functional taping methods have evolved and diversified. Active taping techniques can be seen in all areas of sports from youth to Olympic and professional athletes, and is in increased use by chiropractors, athletic trainers, physical therapists, and other functional medicine specialists.