Late Spring 2006
Arthritis Pain? Back Pain? Lymphedema? Scarring? Kinesio Taping® Can Help!
 

It looks like a cross between an Ace® bandage, with its stretchy woven texture, and a Band-Aid®, with its sticky side. But it's different—it's kinesio tape. And if you ever experience arthritis pain, pull a muscle, have carpal tunnel syndrome, experience prolonged back pain or have a deep scar, you'll be glad to know about this form of therapy.

 

"Properly applied by a therapist," explains Ed Kaine, OTR/L (Occupational Therapist Registered/Licensed), of Ahlbin Rehabilitation Centers, "kinesio tape lifts the skin over the injured area, so blood and lymph can flow to the muscles below. (Lymph includes the fluid and white blood cells that fight infection; it carries away waste and excess fluid from our bodies.) "This promotes healing, reduces swelling and often eliminates pain."

As the therapist applies the tape, he or she stretches it slightly and lays it carefully in specific places, according to the injury. Once in place, the tape rebounds (like a rubber band). From then on, every movement you make is like therapy, guiding and helping to heal the tissues below.

Pro athletes use kinesio tape to manage pain, prevent injury or make it easier to move. The next time you watch a gymnastics or skating event, look for the flesh-colored strips on shoulders, ankles or back. You're sure to see it.

Some other conditions that kinesio tape can improve:

  • lymphedema (swelling from excess fluid buildup in the tissues)
  • fibromyalgia and chronic musculoskeletal pain
  • tennis elbow
  • lupus affecting hands and fingers
  • pain and difficulty moving after some types of surgery