The kinesio taping method consists of applying an elastic adhesive bandage to the skin to reduce symptoms and improve muscle function.
This type of ligation acts on the muscular and fascial tissue, under the joints and in the systems: circulatory, lymphatic and nervous.

 

The physiotherapist puts kinesio taping to change muscle tone, stimulate lymphatic drainage, correct movement patterns and improve posture.

This bandage is economical, easy to apply and can take up to 3/4 days.
Banding can be purchased at a pharmacy and at sporting goods stores (eg Decathlon).
This bandage can be applied even in pregnancy and in all parts of the body, even the most delicate ones like the groin.
Kinesio taping is different from the adhesive elastic bandage and the McConnell taping method.
Mainly the traditional adhesive elastic bandage is used to reduce the range of motion.
The effect of this method is to bridge injured areas so that athletes can perform certain movements without feeling pain.
The traditional elastic tape is removed after the end of a sporting event, while the kinesio tape is applied for 2/3 days.

The McConnell taping method is a technique that bends some parts of the body to influence some movements.
McConnell uses a very rigid and adhesive tape that must remain in the body up to 18 hours (often performed only for short periods of time due to the discomfort it causes).

Kinesio taping is a new technique that is becoming very popular in recent years (especially in the world of sports).
The kinesio tape is a non-latex hypoallergenic cotton fiber tape that extends longitudinally (up to 100% of its length at rest).
The fabric is porous and allows the skin to breathe.
The adhesive part of the tape contains an impervious acrylic glue that is activated with heat.
Thanks to these features the tape can remain in the body for 3-4 days (even in the case of perspiration and contact with water).
The tape contains no medications. The thickness and weight of the tape are designed to resemble that of the skin as closely as possible.
It is important that the bandage be very adhesive because it should withstand even in training (therefore with sweat) and during the bath.
There are ribbons of different colors, sometimes one color causes a rash , while another of the same brand does not cause skin reactions .

To serve or kinesio taping?

Kinesio taping has been used by physiotherapists, occupational therapists, athletic trainers, chiropractors, physicians, and osteopaths for many dysfunctions.
The field of application is very large: from the temporomandibular joint to foot diseases.
Today, thanks to its simplicity, kinesio taping tape is widely used by both ordinary people and top-level athletes.

How does it work?

The kinesio taping tape can be used to allow full movement of the joints while the elastic bandage reduces the range of motion.
The application of the tape on the skin not only has a local effect, but also on the underlying tissues and muscles.
By working better muscles, promoting better blood and lymphatic circulation, stimulating body defenses and promoting healing of nerves, muscles and organs.

The tape uses its elasticity to lift the skin from the underlying tissues, forming the ‘wrinkles’.
By this property, the skin is lifted from the dermis (subcutaneous layer), improving circulation and absorption of liquids.
Because the tape is in contact with the skin, it sends important information to the brain (sensory stimulation and proprioceptive information) that causes a reflex reaction of the muscle.

The main effects of Kinesio taping are four:

  • Muscle support – improves the muscle’s ability to contract, even when it is weak. Reduces the sensation of pain and fatigue . Protects muscles from cramps or excessive stretching.
  • Eliminate congestion of body fluids – improves blood and lymphatic circulation, also reduces tissue inflammation .
  • Activation of the endogenous analgesic system – means that the tape should facilitate the body’s self-healing mechanisms. This is also an important point of osteopathy and chiropractic .
  • Correct joint problems  – the goal is to improve bone alignment and movement by regulating the activity of weak or contracted muscles.

In the case of sciatic pain ( inflammation of the sciatic nerve ), cruralgia or cervicobrachial neuralgia , kinesio taping is not indicated because the symptoms arise from the nerves that are in deep areas of the body and not in the tissues that are under the skin.

Application of Kinesio taping

 

Application of taping in the shoulder to Y for the tendon of the supraspinatus

Prior to application, it is necessary to cut the tape the correct length and shape .
There are several cutting possibilities: we can use a straight strip (cut to ‘I’), cut ‘Y’ to ‘X’ and ‘fan’.

The anatomical part that must be bandaged usually influences the type of cut to use.

In general, a ‘I’ cut has a stabilizing action much more than a fan-shaped cut, which on the contrary is very draining .
To know the correct tape length, it is necessary to simply measure the bandage segment.
Mainly, there are two types of application for bandaging:

  • For contracted muscles that require relaxation and to drain: apply the tape without tension, placing the segment of the bandage in the stretching position.
  • For muscles that need to be supported, stabilized and for ligament techniques: apply the tape without tension, placing the bandage member in shortening. Or apply the tape with a little bit of tension (ie pulling the ends to lengthen), keeping the bandage segment in neutral.

Apply the tape to the shoulder: Before applying the tape, carefully clean the skin and ensure that the patient does not use creams and oils that can alter the ability to stay glued.
One very effective trick is to use the ultrasoundgel to properly clean the skin from waste creams.
Separate the back of the tape slowly so that the tape does not bend over itself.
Apply lightly to the skin to see if the tape is positioned correctly.
Once in place, you need to apply pressure to the tape by rubbing it for 30 seconds to activate the glue (with the scrubbing heat).

Opinions about the direction to be taken in the application of the tape (from the origin to the insertion or vice versa) are different and sometimes conflicting and vary depending on the training schools.
In each case, the effectiveness of the Kinesio tape does not change.

We can start from the origin of the biceps brachii and apply the taping along the arm to the elbow.

First part of the application of taping for patellar tendonitis

Second part of the taping for patellar tendinitis with the application of a bandage to support the patella

Combination bandage for the quadriceps

Combined application of vastus medial and lateral. Useful in case of stress in the quadriceps, double contraction of the quadriceps, external or internal and for muscle stiffness .

 

Kinesio Taping for calf contraction and Achilles tendinitis .

Action: Relaxation. Shape: a strip to ‘Y’. Length: under the heel to the popliteal cavity. Apply the tape without tension, starting just under the heel and with stretching of the calf. With the tape wrap around the outside of the twins’ muscular womb.

Kinesio Taping for  ankle sprains , swelling of the foot and ankle

Action: drainage. Shape: two strips. Length: 25 cm. Apply the strips to form a double fan over the ankle. Pretend on stretching the ankle and apply without tension.

Kinesio Taping for Femoral Biceps Contracture

Action: Relaxation. Shape: a strip to ‘Y’. Length: ischial tuberosity up to the head of the fibula. Apply the strap without tension, asking the patient to perform a forward flexion of the trunk with the legs extended. With the ‘Y’ tails envelop the muscle belly of the femoral biceps. During the application ask the patient to keep the ‘Y’ base stretched until the skin is stretched.

Kinesio Taping ® for epicondylitis and bursitis on the elbow

Used for any painful elbow condition. Action: drainage. Form: A fan-shaped bandage. Length: 20-25cm.
Apply the tape with the elbow in flexion, without tension, forming a fan around the elbow.
Be careful not to put the tape too close to the side because the tape may not wrinkle.

Kinesio Taping for low back pain, herniated disc , piriformis syndrome and lumbar square contracture.

Ligature used in all pain syndromes of the lumbar spine . Action: Relaxation. Shape: 4 strips to ‘I’. Length: 25 cm.
Apply the ribbons only laterally to the spine without tension, flexing the patient to the front of the 45 °. A pply  always bilaterally.

Kinesio Taping for the neck.

Action: Relaxation. Shape: two strips to ‘I’. Width: 2, 5cm. Length: 20-25 cm.
Apply the tape without tension laterally on the spine, the patient should flex the head forward.
A pply  always bilaterally.

Conclusion

The advantages of taping in relation to adhesive elastic bandage is total freedom of movement, thereby improving the flow of body fluids and accelerating the healing process.

It also resists water and perspiration , so it can be used in training, in the pool and under the shower: the application can still last up to 5 days.
The results of Kinesio taping are fast, visible and measurable immediately after application.

When the tape is removed, it is necessary to wait a few days before further treatment in the same area to give the possibility for the skin to rest.
The kinesio taping is quick and easy to apply, it can also be applied by the patient in easily accessible areas.
However, do-it-yourself applications are not recommended.
Always rely on the hands of an experienced professional to apply the tape in order to obtain the maximum result of this technique.

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