Athletic tape, sports tape, therapeutic tapes, Rocktape, and kinesio tape all are used interchangeably and have a wide range of use but they are categorically known as kt or kinesiotape. When it comes to taping the common questions we see asked are:
- Does kinesiology tape provide support?
- Can kt tape be used for neck pain?
- What does Rocktape do for posture?
- Can kinesio tape reduce pain?
- Which kinesio tape is the best?
In this blog, I will focus on therapeutic tape for common musculoskeletal issues, how I modify kinesio tape for some of my patients, and how they actually work.
Which Kinesio Tape is Best?
There are many different brands of kinesiotape, such as KT Tape or RockTape. Some brands have better adhesives than others so are ideal for those who may sweat a lot or have a competition around the corner and need to be taped for the event. From my experience, Rocktape wins the prize for having the best endurance for the price and the price is not much different than KT.
Taping has become so popular that my recent 16-second post on Instagram which is a reel taping the shoulder area and asking if anyone could guess what the tape was for had 10.1 million views and tons of comments. The comments let me see how so many people were off on their guesses. Here is the actual IG post:
How Does Kinesiology Tape Work?
Kinesiology tape is different from traditional athletic/sports tape that is more rigid and is typically used for an added support to an injured or recovery joint during a sports competition. Kinesio tape on the other hand is much more stretchy and is designed in a way that it can be cut and easily manipulated to fit over a variety of areas.
Kinesio tape can be used on acute injuries to assist in the natural healing process. According to SteroSport, “Kinesiology Tape benefits joints by lifting the skin and creating space between the dermis layer and the tissues underneath to soothe pain associated with swelling. This increased space also means that the lymphatic system can drain more easily, removing waste and toxins with it to hasten recovery.”
This is one of the many great benefits of using this type of tape. In my clinic where we specialize in postural neurology and functional movement we find kinesio tape to be a very helpful tool in bringing the brain’s attention to a specific muscle or joint in movement correction. If you want to know what I mean by this, read the section below.
How to Apply Kinesio Tape for Function vs Support
I use Proprioceptive Taping often where the tape is strategically used to bring perception or awareness of the position and movement of the body part to the brain. We are not teaching your brain anything. Listen:
What you see is the best and most perfect physiological way your brain is managing your movement and posture given what you throw at it.
When you are injured, when your lifestyle dictates a certain position more than others, when you play sports or have hobbies that involved some body parts more than others, your blueprint of movement and sensation which you are born with, changes. The sequence and order of muscles involved in moving a joint changes and in many instances, you change your body’s position elsewhere to bring the specific body part in question to a place where it can start doing its part. That is when you start having problems.
Proprioceptive taping is not for stabilization nor for restriction of a joint to prevent injury, but the goal is for sensory stimulation of the brain to encourage extra attention from to the area in question. Why would you want this?
The brain is the master coordinator of every function of your body. Your brain is in charge of how you move, when you move, every muscle contraction, and the timing of your muscles working together contracting and relaxing to perform movement. This is not something you have to think about, but your brain automatically does this for you.
So if there is a movement or function that needs correction we do not want to force the move. You and your brain are on the same team and no blueprint for movement is better than the ‘factory designed’ map of movement. . The video below explains this further.
This taping method is especially beneficial when there is a dysfunctional movement present. By the way, if you one of these:
- Have bad posture
- Work behind a desk
- Play one-side sports
- Have had previous injuries
- Have chronic pain
- Are always re-injuring yourself
then you likely have some degree of dysfunctional movement. I suggest you watch the video below and check out this blog on everything you need to know about functional movement disorder.
Kinesio Tape and Posture Correction
Every baby at birth is hardwired with the blueprint for functional movement and develops that movement and muscle function from 3 months of age all the way through the second year of life.
Dysfunctional movement is not a malfunction of the brain but develops as a result of the list mentioned above and other things that cause us to deviate from the natural design and rewires what the movement should be. This is why taping alone is not enough to correct posture or rehab an injury. At our clinic, we use proprioceptive taping as an additional tool to the posture-changing methods of treatment that allow us to treat so many chronic and failed cases successfully: Postural Neurology and Neuro-Kinesiology.
You can see an example of this taping in the video below.
Tape Does Not Cure You
This blog is not a green light to treat yourself with kinesio tape. If you’ve experienced an injury you should get it checked out by your sports-minded chiropractor, physical therapist, or a physiatrist.
Putting tape over an injured area does not mean you’re clear of injury, although I do prefer tape over braces. Find out why in the video below.
To get more info on all the things you need to be doing aside from taping, visit my website and Youtube Channel filled with functional movement exercises to improve movement and plenty of tips for posture correction. If you think you still need help, contact my office for an appointment.