Kinesio taping is a common method used by physical and occupational therapists for a variety of injuries. It’s commonly used on athletes because it promotes healing without restricting their range of motion, still allowing them to play. Kinesio tape offers stability and support to the muscles and joints affected or prone to injury without the need for a bulky splint or brace. Kinesio tape was designed by a doctor in the mid-1970’s who struggled to treat his patients with traditional sports tape. He set out to design a tape with a human skin like consistency that moved with the body, and he did exactly that!
Many doctors presumed that once a joint was in a certain shape, it couldn’t be changed, but this doctor had a different thought. That’s when he realized that many of the joint pain complaints seen by physicians were targeted on the surrounding muscle, not the joint itself. Once he realized this, he began testing different sports tapes on the muscle to see if it improved the pain. The problem was in the stiffness of the sports tape. The tape was all designed to hold the joint in place so by placing it on the muscle is restricted mobility, creating the opposite effect of what he desired.
When an injury occurs, the surrounding muscle begins to lose elasticity. Kinesio tape is designed to have the stretch of human muscle so it can restore what the body has lost. This is especially helpful in overuse injuries in active patients. Kinesio tape is not only designed to mimic human muscle elasticity, but also to lift the skin as it works gently. The revolutionary science behind the design of Kinesio tape is truly one of a kind. It works to promote healing without limiting the use of the area, unlike any other sports tape, splint, or brace.
Dr. Kase is still closely involved with the manufacturing and distribution of Kinesio tape to search for any room for improvement in the design. Kinesio tape is one of the many therapies that our physical and occupational therapists utilize to treat the complaints of a patient without restricting their range of motion. Paired with the right exercises and stretches, Kinesio tape is the key for many patient’s treatment plans to keep them playing their sport and out of the operating room! Your physical or occupational therapist will teach you how and where to place the Kinesio tape to see the best results.