My athletes sometimes wear it, it’s used in other PT clinics, it’s worn in many different capacities during everyday life, and I’ve heard a lot about it. Today, I was lucky enough to have two classmates apply it to my knees and back (wow! it felt amazing). I learned its true benefits and how to properly apply it. The wonders of Kinesiology Tape!
I still don’t quite know the differences between KT and Rock Tape, so if you are a firm believer in one or the other, now is your chance to get me to your side!
Experiencing today’s lab in our modalities class was exciting for many reasons. However, the most exciting part, was that unlike a lot of other interventions that I will learn through my time at Seton Hall, I can implement kinesiology tape immediately!
KT and Rock tape are sold in almost any convenience store for immediate use. Also, there are several certification seminars offered throughout the country where you can be a “kensio-certified practitioner”. My summer plans are already changing a bit as I would like to extend my knowledge in these techniques.
OK, so what are the benefits of kinesio-taping? The tape is marketed as doing some of the following:
- Providing muscle support
- Correcting postural problems
- Increasing blood and lympathic flow
- Takes pressure off swollen or injured muscle
After having both my knees and my lower back (lumbar) taped up today, I am COMPLETELY buying into the tape. Not only will I use this on my future patients during and post treatment, but there is a 100% chance that my St. Benedict’s runners will begin to use some of these taping methods. Why? Glad you asked!
What are the most common injuries track and field athletes encounter? Through my experiences, I would say: on the bottom of the foot (plantar fasciitis), achilles (achilles tendonitis), IT band (tightness), the knee, shin, hamstring, quad, and lower back. Of course, nothing substitutes a good physical therapy session with a knowledgeable clinician if we have identified that there is a weakness causing discomfort in one of these area. However, an athlete can have the ability to train OR the chance to prevent one of these injuries from happening by using the tape.
Kinesiology tape is very interesting in that it can be applied as both an inhibition and a facilitation. Depending on what you are trying to accomplish, this means that it has the ability to make a movement harder (more restrictive) or make it easier (less restrictive). The biggest difference when taping would be the direction that we tape; distal vs. proximal or in other words farther vs. closer to the body.
I would like to quickly share an inhibitory taping example from one of my athletes: This past fall, one of our long distance runners unfortunately suffered a mild stress fracture in his lower fibula. Post recovery, he found that by using kinesiology tape from the outside of his ankle, around his calf (gastrocnemius), over his tibia (shin), and back around his fibula, he actually was able to limit the amount of pressure being placed on his fibula and fibularis brevis/longus muscles (see lower pictures) during impact while running.
I DO NOT believe that KT or Rock tape will help cure an injury nor do I believe that it will give you an edge. I am all for pain relief and this seems like an excellent remedy. I wish that when I was competing in college that this existed; particularly if this was available for my very painful plantar fasciitis, hamstring strain, and deep knee bruise. I look forward to sharing the results to my taping escapades in the upcoming months.
For anyone reading my blog, do you have experience using KT or Rock Tape? Why did you or your doctor use it? Did it work? Please share in the comments section or shoot me an e-mail. Thank you for reading!