Using Kinesiology tape as part of your recovery
The use of kinesiology taping in your treatment is mostly when treating acute injury such as an acute back or neck pain. Depending on how the tape is applied, it has different benefits:
Inhibition of tight, overused muscles
In many chronic conditions, certain muscles will become overactive as others become weak. This is the myofascial pain syndrome and very common in musculoskeletal complaints. For example, upper crossed postural syndrome classically brings tight overused upper trapezius and pectoralis muscles or with lower crossed postural syndrome, the tight overused muscles are the quadratus lumborum and hip flexors. Taping these muscles to aid in ‘downplaying’ their function can help in the rehabilitation of your complaint.
Facilitation of weak and flaccid muscles
When a person experiences pain either in a joint or a muscle, a pain inhibition response occurs. A great example of this would be a patient with a knee meniscus tear. As soon as the pain is perceived in the knee, in 50% of patients, the glut medius and VMO (Medial Quad) muscle is inhibited. This brings a cycle of pain and knee instability. If the VMO and Glut med are then taped to facilitate or switch on the muscle, it allows the patient to initiate a good rehabilitation program to strengthen the knee.
Decompression of disc bulges
It’s seems strange that you would use tape to aid in decompression of disc bulges however with the amount of swelling (oedema) and fluid that sits around a disc bulge, it is thought that the tape can aid with the disc related pain by reducing the inflammatory mediators surrounding the disc and joints. This is a process of mechanical lifting by the tape.
Reduction of inflammation surrounding a joint:
Niki will often use k tape in the inflammatory stage of your pain to aid in reduction of inflammation and pain. In theory, the tape ‘pulls or lifts’ the skin allowing improved drainage of inflammatory fluid. Often patients will say that the pain returns when they take the tape off earlier than advised. Usually Niki will use the k tape in the first week if you present with acute, inflammatory pain.
The K tape can also be used in a finger type taping to improve lymphatic drainage. This is useful in complaints such as knee swelling or an ankle injury.
K tape can also be used in support of a joint. This is especially useful in complaints such as an overuse wrist injury or sometimes Niki will tape the shoulders in a supportive way, especially if you have a rotator cuff injury or some type of postural related pain such as shoulder impingement or a persistent rib pain posteriorly.
Instument Assisted Soft Tissue Manipulation (IASTM) is the use of a small metal tool to free up the muscles or fascia around a joint. This is used to treat chronic build up of soft tissue around a dysfunctional joint or can be useful for scar tissue build up after an injury.
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