What is Kinesio-Taping?

First off, full disclosure: We love Kinesio-Taping (KT). Dr. Amy Lennon loves Kinesio-Taping so much that she traveled to Japan to study with the inventor of this therapy, Dr. Kenzo Kase.

In our clinic, we use Kinesio-Tape frequently in conjunction with Graston Technique, after acute injuries to support weakened or injured tissues, to help relieve pain, to facilitate lymphatic drainage after injury, and to either structurally support or functionally enhance the function of muscle groups.

Dr. Lennon's KT work at an Ironman event

The official definition from Kinesio-Taping’s website:

The Kinesio Taping® Method is a definitive rehabilitative taping technique that is 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 manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting.

Example of joint support and performance enhancement

Kinesio-Tape has an incredible range of uses. Here is an example from an interview published on The American Chiropractor’s website with Dr. Kase, the inventor of KT:

When it comes to patients, Kinesio has pretty much seen them all, including athletes, infants, horses, dogs and flamingos.

“I treat a lot of dachshunds. They tend to get herniated discs because their bodies are too long; they’re over-stretched. Normally, people won’t do surgery on them because it is too expensive, and if the pain is too severe, they put the dog to sleep. I apply the tape right over the hair in a certain direction and the dogs respond well.”

In the U.S., only medical practitioners are trained to apply the tape, and patients are not generally encouraged to tape themselves. Practitioners explain to patients how the tape works, especially as it relates to muscle contraction. But Kase, ever the healer, believes that “everybody should be able to learn because it is not dangerous to wear and it is effective for many emergency cases, bruising, slight burning and mosquito bites. If someone has a mosquito bite, we put the tape on and they don’t feel the scratching. Then, in 15 minutes, all the swelling is gone.”

Olympic athletes using KT

The tape itself is latex-free and can be worn for many days. At our clinic, it is most often used for pain relief and joint support after acute injuries, but it has a large fan base of athletes that use it for pain relief and performance enhancement during sporting events.

Earlier this year, Road magazine ran a feature on Kinesio Taping.

In the January, 2011 issue, Dr. Jason Brayley, MD, spoke with soigneur Janis Burns, who takes care of professional cyclists. “What are the most common injuries that Janis has found in her treatment of professional cyclists?” Brayley wrote. Burns told him, “By far, the most recurring issue I have come across with cyclists is the combination of muscle tightness in the hip flexor and gluteus muscles, resulting in ileotibial (IT) band strain, which affects the knee and actually leads to pain in the back while training and racing.”

She treated rider Chris Monteleone for his nagging back pain. Dr. Brayley quoted Monteleone, “I was skeptical, but I was in pain and I was willing to try anything. Janis leaned me over with my torso at a 90-degree angle with my legs. She took two pieces of tape, about 18 inches in length, and placed them in parallel on each side of my spine. As I raised up, the tape naturally shortened, and pulled the flesh away from the inflamed area. I could tell right away that some of the pressure was relieved, and once I got on the bike I could tell a world of difference.”

Read the full article from Road, the Journal of Road Cycling.

US Postal Service team with Knee Kinesio-Tape

If you have any questions about how this therapy can be applied to you, please contact us.
For a few testimonials regarding this therapy, visit this informational website: Athletic Tape Info.
To learn more about this therapy, visit the Kinesio-Taping Method website.