My experience with Kinesiology tape...

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by hoot56, Aug 2, 2012.

  1. hoot56

    hoot56 New User

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    58 yr old, level 3, doubles player. Played for ~2.5 hours, got home, achilles tendon was tight and hurting bad. Did the RICE thing, later soaked heel in Epsom salts and hot water. Still hurting and hard to walk. Put heel pads in shoes and used an Aircast Airheel brace, not much relief. Discomfort went on for 5-6 days. Finally bought some KT tape and attached it to the heel and tendon, up the back of the leg, as per the video. In 3 hours, I was pain free, walking almost normal again. Couldn't believe the tape did this much good. I am a skeptic but it is working. Some things I learned about the tape; you will use up 1/2 the box learning how to apply it. The attachment points should have no stretch for staying on power. Once the tape is on the skin, do not pull it back off as it doesn't stick as well. It is hard to keep the tape together as it wants to split into the Y shape. It is hard to find when it comes off under the bed sheets!
     
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  2. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I have never understood how a tape parallel to muscle-tendon works. It attaches to the skin which stretches, so how does it apply forces to the muscle-tendon under the skin? Have you come across any references on how this type of tape works?
     
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  3. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    The tape works kind of like the way that those lumbar belts you see the Home Depot guys wear work. The sensation of the tape on your skin reminds you subconsciously that you have an injury and you limit your activity thus lowering your chance of reinjury, allowing maximum healing speed while still being able to perform.
     
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  4. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I can see feedback as a mode of how it works.

    But the tension on the Achilles and calf muscles depends on the degree of foot dorsiflexion (foot bent upward). It is not clear that a tape from the heel up the back of the leg would be stretched by dorsiflexion. ?
     
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  5. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    The tape is placed on tension such that the passive stretch of the muscles associated with the Achilles will be restricted.
     
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  6. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    The elastic properties of this type of tape can, supposedly, be utilized in a mechanical fashion to either limit or encourage a specific motion at a joint. The tape is used in therapy in an effort to relax overused muscles and in rehabilitation to facilitate underused muscles

    Note that, for this particular application, the tape is applied while the foot is in full dorsiflexion. The piece that runs from the heel up the back of the foot & leg, along the tendon, is applied with about 50% of full tension. Applied in this manner, it would tend to pull the foot (somewhat) towards a neutral position. With plantar flexion or when the foot is in a neutral position, the lengthwise piece of tape would be relaxed.

    Due to the construction of the tape, when tension is reduced, it exhibits a lifting action on the skin. This action is supposed to have several benefits (which can be found in the links below).

    http://www.kttape.com/what-is-kt-tape

    http://www.kttape.com/instructions/achilles-tendonitis/

    http://www.livestrong.com/article/30089-kinesio-tape-work/

    http://www.scienceofsocceronline.com/2008/08/cutting-edge-research-effectiveness-of.html
     
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  7. hoot56

    hoot56 New User

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    Follow on ...

    You can feel the tape trying to pull your foot into the neutral position when flexed upward. As far as a placebo, I know it reduced the pain better than anything I tried so far. We will see how it works out in the long run. I have a match Monday nite and will apply the tape early. I will look into the Meuller brand as the KT wants to seperate into the Y shape too easily. It is already cut to seperate.:neutral:
     
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  8. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I read over the 2 neutral links. I can't get a clear idea of how the tape works or what it does. No neutral scientific references. I had not heard before of an injury association of fascia and the Achilles and calf. I don't understand how it can "help the muscles work with proper biomechanics" as the Livestrong article says. I didn't find how it does anything for an injured Achilles. ?

    An Achilles tendon that is "tight and hurting bad" as in the OP is a wake up call to stop stressing it and see a Dr. It sounds very risky to use a product like this for an Achilles injury without more information.
     
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  9. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Think about it, what possible direct influence could tape on the OUTSIDE of your skin have on the function of a muscle deep inside your limb?

    The effect is real just not direct.
     
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  10. adventure

    adventure Banned

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    Placebo effect.
     
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  11. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    My Therapist applied it for my achilles tendonitis as a final step of my therapy, meaning after exercises + heat, etc...

    It work? it is a placebo, not sure but for me worked fine.

    What I felt? the tape kept the heat and hold the tendon.
     
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  12. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    I am currently using the uncut version of the synthetic KT Tape Pro: as the name suggests, that is completely uncut so you won't have this problem. I would suspect that an uncut roll of the classic is the same, though have never tried that.

    I do actually wonder how long they'll keep the cut to separate it into a Y shape. There's a picture on the back of the Pro box showing the body positions of several applications, and every piece of tape is in an I shape. They've updated some of the video instructions too: when I started using it a couple of years ago, the shin splint application included two Y's. Now there are none.
     
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