Kinesio / Rock Tape
Taping has rapidly gained popularity with athletes, patients and chiropractors alike. I’ve encountered multitudes of injuries that have had lasting results through the application of rock / kinesio tape. Research shows that there’s a fluid, mechanical, and neurological effect from taping by:
- Reducing pain
- Improving circulation and drainage
- Improving posture
- Improving function and performance
Here’s some sample conditions where I have applied taping:
- Alleviate bruising/hematoma
There are a number of theories behind how taping works, but the most common is that the elastic properties of tape induce a vertical lift of skin from the underlying tissue, which promotes blood and lymphatic flow into and out of the taped area. You can clearly see the “fluid effect” from the pictures above. It doesn’t only alleviate bruising and waste removal, but by improving circulation it also promotes healing of injured tissues.
2. Postural Correction
By putting the patients into their correct posture and applying taping with about 150% stretch, it creates a pulling sensation when the patient is out of their “ideal posture”. The pulling sensation initiates activation and feedback of the nerves in the taped skin and the muscles underneath. This adds stabilization to weak, overworked, and injured tissues.
3. Pregnancy Support
Just like postural correction, it also provides support when expectant mothers need it the most during the later term of their pregnancies. Many expectant mothers seek relief from lower back pain, sciatica, groin pain, and many other aches from carrying the added weight in their abdomen.
The tape gently reinforces the belly and also lifts the skin to allow excess fluid to drain. Patients that I have taped during their pregnancy reported less pressure on their lower back and groin region and they were able to exercise and move around easier.
4. Functional Improvement
Patients sometimes come in with dysfunctional joints like the shoulder and knee displayed in the picture. Although the tape does not splint the joint, it provides additional stabilization by activating the muscles involved with a specific directional pull. It also creates a non-painful stimulus which interferes with the pain signal that would otherwise travel to your brain. Let’s not forget it also improves healing of any injured or strained tissues. That’s why you see so many athletes wearing colorful tapes nowadays!
As you can see taping can be applied in so many scenarios and some of my patients even learn to do self application when needed (although be aware that in rare occasions it can cause an allergic skin reaction or pigmentation). The tape usually lasts about 3–5 days but it may be good practice to remove the tape sooner if it’s the first time you’ve had it done or if your skin feels irritated. With that in mind…keep calm and tape on!
Willow Glen Chiropractic
1314 Lincoln Ave Ste 2E
San Jose, CA 95125