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Kinesio Taping: Rolling it Out for Winter Activities

By: Steve Merema, PT, DPT, CKTP Clinic Director of Ogle County Physical Therapy

Medicine has grown by leaps and bounds in the past 30 years.  And with innovative ideas paving the way for new forms of treatment; technology is evolving almost faster than the healthcare industry can keep up.  Advanced techniques in diagnostics, surgical procedures, and rehabilitation have helped individuals achieve healthier lives faster. 

With the nicer weathered months behind us and winter in full swing; students are in their second season of school athletics and weekend warriors are braving the cold to get active outside.  Unfortunately, training in previous seasons cannot always prevent injury.  Whether taking a hard foul in a basketball game, shin splints from running, or shoulder pain from wrestling, injury can quickly derail the season of any athlete or weekend warrior. 

One form of treatment physical therapists use to help restore mobility with these types of sports injuries is the Kinesio Taping Method.  While Kinesio Taping gained notoriety in the United States when spectators noticed the 2012 Olympic athletes clad brightly in intricate tapes, this treatment has been used to treat individuals for over 30 years. 

In physical therapy, the foundation of treatment is restoring the proper patterns of movement to the affected area.  While a treatment for injury depends on the type of injury; Kinesio Taping can be used to accelerate recovery in any athlete, no matter their age or skill level.  

Kinesio Tape is an elastic, hypo-allergenic and latex free tape.  It works by activating the skin receptors on the body restoring proper functional movements which directly impacts the healing process.  In the past three decades, Kinesio Taping has become a staple in the arsenal of physical therapists; and one of the treatment techniques used at OSTI’s clinics when treating patients with sports related injuries.  

Kinesio Taping helps facilitate weak muscles, inhibit overactive or spasming muscles, or support joints without restricting motion.  In individuals with swelling and edema, Kinesio Tape can be applied to lift skin and expand blood vessels to improve fluid movement and alleviate pain.  Combined, these techniques improve muscle balance, posture, and decreased pain.

Though Kinesio Taping has evolved with scientific research, the reasons and methods of application have remained the same.  Whether you’re an Olympic level athlete in pursuit of the gold, or a seasoned adult enjoying your golden years, restoring proper muscle functional is the key to unrestricted, pain-free movement.  If you prefer cool blue, pretty pink, athletic black or inconspicuous beige, Kinesio Taping can be a helpful tool when moving through life.     

For more information on this treatment service, see Kinesio Taping under our services section or call your local OSTI physical therapy clinic.