Physical therapy is many people’s go-to when they’re struggling with aches and pains. While physical therapy is extremely common, the treatment patients receive can vary significantly. When you go to a physical therapist in NEPA, they might utilize a few different methods to aid in your treatment. One method that your physical therapy team might decide is right for you is Kinesio Tape. 

Taping injuries is one of the many treatments we provide to our patients at Cawley Physical Therapy. Find out what exactly Kinesio Tape is and why physical therapists use it for treatment. 

What is Kinesio Tape?

Kinesio is a stretchy, light-weight, and water-resistant tape that mimics the elasticity and texture of human skin and is specially designed not to constrict a person’s range of motion. This type of tape is a specially designed adhesive tape used by sports trainers, physical therapists, and professional athletes. There are different types of tape, some of which work to stimulate muscles, whereas other types are designed to relax muscles.

The unique design of Kinesio Tape allows it to conform to the skin easily, and it is flexible enough and breathable enough to be worn for long periods. The tape is available in a 100% hypoallergenic, latex-free blend of cotton material, which means patients don’t have to be concerned about developing a rash if they need to wear the tape for some time. Although many therapists decide to use flesh-colored tape to blend in with a person’s skin, it is available in multiple colors, including kid-friendly shades.

Areas Used 

Kinesio Tape can be used almost anywhere on the body where it is needed, including:

  • Feet
  • Arms
  • Legs
  • Torso
  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Ankles

After the tape is applied correctly, the patient should be able to move the injured area freely, yet their muscles will still benefit from the extra support.

Leukotape is another brand of tape a physical therapist may employ as part of a healing program for specific patients. Leukotape’s uniquely rigid and highly adhesive properties are particularly helpful for supporting the shoulder area and the patella-femoral area (front of the kneecap).

Benefits of Taping with Kinesio Tape

While taping can support muscles and other key tissues near an injury, it is designed to do much more. Kinesio Tape has special properties that help improve circulation throughout injured tissues. Improving circulation means an injured area will receive more healing nutrients while also enabling the removal of toxins created during the body’s healing process. Kinesio Tape is also designed to reduce the fluid build-up (edema) that occurs from the body’s natural inflammatory response to injury.

By improving circulation and reducing the fluid build-up, muscles near the injured area can perform their normal functions better. This translates into less muscle tightness and strain and greater mobility for the patient even though they are still healing from an injury. Taping also helps reduce pain levels and provides much-needed support to help combat any weakness or instability.

There is also evidence that Kinesio Taping can help re-educate the neuromuscular system and facilitate the normal proprioceptive feedback to the brain. In other words, by essentially filling in the gap for an injured body component, the brain will still receive normal feedback from the injured area. In turn, the injured person won’t unconsciously try to compensate for their injury by walking or carrying themselves in an awkward position. This means a person will be less likely to injure themselves further by way of abnormal motion.

See if Kinesio Tape Can Help You

Taping can be extremely beneficial for those who need it, but it’s far from the only way a physical therapist can help treat your injuries. A physical therapist will not necessarily include taping as part of the recovery process for every patient they treat. However, after conducting a thorough evaluation of a patient’s specific issues, a PT may decide to incorporate taping as part of the recovery program for certain individuals.  

If you or someone you know is frustrated by a stubborn injury that refuses to heal, professional taping may be the key to getting on the road to complete recovery. Contact Cawley Physical Therapy today to see how our physical therapy services in NEPA can help.