Home » Have you Heard About The Kinesio Taping Method?

Have you Heard About The Kinesio Taping Method?

by Nathan Zachary
Kinesio Taping Method

Kinesio tape or k-tape has become part of the wellness conversation for years now. The brightly colored support tool has become invaluable to athletes and sports practitioners. Kinesio tape offers an alternative to immobilization, a feature greatly appreciated by the sports community, especially those athletes who refuse to slow down and rest.

Kinesiology sports tape has several taping methods depending on the injured area; this article intends to provide several examples based on the most frequent injuries.

Kinesio tape is available in various colors that can go well with an article of clothing, even black, for more formal occasions.

The tape has to be visible despite the best efforts to hide it for fashion’s sake. It has become commonplace to walk into a gymnasium and find it full of gym members colorfully adorned by tape. It is frequently used even when a person is not suffering from injury but most likely avoiding it or, in some cases, even as a support for improved techniques.

Those who have seen Kinesiology sports tape applied might find the patterns and shapes confusing, especially when the tape is cut lengthwise into several strips and then placed along and across the skin in patterns.

These cuts are on purpose to further support the muscle or articulation. The whole point of Kinesio tape is to help bring relief to injuries and provide support when training. Do not fret when it is explained. It will all make sense.

A History of Kinesio Tape and Taping Method

Kinesio tape made a splash during the 2012 Olympics held in London, England. Several participants across disciplines wore brightly colored tape across their bodies to help their performance.

Though the tape had been available and used since the 1970s, it only became popular during these Olympics as those wearing them seemed to have more tremendous success in their fields.

Swimmers jumped into the pool, runners lapped, and weight lifters pressed their way to victory while wearing the colorful tape. Then suddenly, gyms across the globe seemed to have members all wearing the tape across their bodies to emulate the results seen on T.V. While the amateurs adorned their gyms with neon tapes, the world of professional sports also saw their professionals being tapped by their physical therapists to leap higher or run faster. K-tape has become part of the world of fitness.

Developed in the 1970s by a chiropractor named Dr. Kenzo Kase, who found a need for an athletic tape that would perfectly fit athletes who could not afford to stop their training. The previous tape focused on medical conditions and would often be used to immobilize a limb or articulation.

These measures would force athletes to rest and lose on precious training days that could make the difference between victory and defeat.

Wrapping an injury for health issues was first reported in 350 BC by Hippocrates, while the first method recorded was of casting a limb to immobilize. The therapy has been used before the recorded event. And different cultures would wrap an injury with the materials readily available to help heal.

Eventually, as medicine progressed, the preferred method of treatment for an injury was to wrap it up and immobilize it. Then use elevation to ensure fluids did not build up and avoid further wound swelling.

Taping up a sprained ankle and immobilizing it seemed too excessive, so Dr. Kase created his tape; the “Kinesio Tex Tape” is made up primarily of 100% cotton fibers woven with an elastic polymer strand that allows for flexibility and elasticity. The cotton fibers allow for the body to sweat and evaporate without it becoming unstuck from the body.

The tape can be purchased in several lengths and colors. While it should be applied by a doctor or physical therapist, the premise of the application is simple enough. Place the adhesive side against the skin and rub to warm up the glue and allow it to set. When placed along the length of the muscle, the idea is to provide support for it. When used to wrap up an articulation or joint, it is to help it heal faster by creating a small space between bones.

This helps the blood bring oxygen to cartilage and ligaments more quickly, thus allowing for faster healing and a prompt return of the athlete to the sporting arena.

Correct wrapping or taping up an injured area has been part of treatment, and while Kinesio tape has a specific method of application, its misuse of it can be counter-productive. Too much tape can cut blood circulation, and too little tape cannot affect the injury at all, not even help with the swelling.

Three Main Kinesio Taping Methods

It looks simple enough; applying the tape to an injury should not be more complicated than pulling the tape and wrapping up the area. Yet no, there is an actual purpose to each strip of tape that is applied, and when dressing an injury, that is the proper starting point.

Firstly determine what type of wrapping is required over the wound. Secondly, cut the tape to a measured length for ease of application. Be generous. There is no need to be exact; it’s better to take away than to find it lacking. Thirdly if necessary, cut the tape into strips and finally apply it over the injury.

There are three types of taping methods. The first one simply sees the user select the tape’s length and apply it; it is called the I-Shape due to its form. This is usually used for the articulation to wrap around and use for support and stability.

The Y-Cut is when the tape is cut at length and applied to two muscles to help recover and anchor the injury. The Fan cut sees the tape cut into several strips so it can be applied to fingers or other places requiring multiple support points. The X-Cut is simply a Y cut at both ends for this article.

Each cut is intended to bring support, stability, and space for healing and wellness. These strips can be placed along the back, over the legs, and around the ankles and help with the efforts for recovery.

Kinesio Taping Method for Knees, Ankles

It is always recommended that an injury should be looked at by a medical professional and their advice followed. If the damage is quickly taken care of at home, thenKinesiology Tape can be a powerful tool for healing, especially when combined with the R.I.C.E. method (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation).

If necessary, medication to battle pain and inflammation can also provide great comfort during the healing process.

These four examples of taping will focus on stability and support.

Knees

The first tape is to measure the tibial tubercle (the little bump under the kneecap) to the quadriceps. Then cut two strips of K-Tape to the appropriate length. Sit and bend the knee, remove the protective cover from the adhesive, and place it outside the tibial tubercle (the bump under the knee).

Then stretch the tape slightly, wrapping the tape under the knee, and follow its curve. Fasten the other end, then rub the tape to get the glue to stick

Repeat the method above with the second strip along the outside of the knee, forming an X when coming together.

Finally, cut the third piece of tape long enough that it can wrap under the kneecap. Then straighten the leg slightly to align the knee. Peel the new tape, stretch it and apply it to the kneecap.

Ankles

Measure and cut a piece of K-tape and start wrapping on the outside of the ankle. Place it five or six inches above the ankle. Place the tape, wrap it underneath the heel, and up again, securing it on the opposite side.

The second piece of tape goes around the Achilles tendon. Start at the ball of the foot and loop around the ankle finishing off the opposite side.

These simple yet effective uses of Kinesio taping are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the plethora of options available for its use. If you are ever having any issues with its proper use, you can go through various online resources or you may consult with a certified physical therapist.

Removing K-Tape

K-tape’s adhesive can be notoriously tricky. The tape is designed to stay on for up to three days, so dry removal is never recommended. A hot shower with warm water and plenty of soap should be enough to remove the tape comfortably.

Remember to remove the tape following the hair growth. Removing the tape in the opposite direction will pull out and remove the hair.

If soap and water do not seem to do the trick, apply baby oil in generous quantities and allow the tape to soak. This will loosen the adhesive and then allow for easy removal. Allow the oil to flow into the fabric for up to 30 min, then remove.

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