What is K taping?

West 4th Physiotherapy associate Stuart Anderson speaks about K taping…

The Tape and the Technique: K-Tape explained
If you watched the London 2012 Olympics you may have noticed a great proportion of the athletes wearing tape on various parts of their bodies, often in blue, black, or ‘skin-tone’.  These elasticized tapes have gained enormous popularity with competitive and non-competitive athletes alike.  I’ve been using these products for a few years, and I recently completed the “K- Taping Pro” course.  I’ve found K-tape to be helpful in treating my clients and helping them to be as active as possible.  However, you do not need to be athletic to benefit from it!  Let me explain some of the general principles of using K-Tape…
What is K-Tape and how is it used?
K-Tape is an elasticated, woven cotton-based tape that is applied over muscles and connective tissue (tendons, fascia, ligaments) to reduce pain and inflammation, relax overused muscles, and support muscles in movement.  The taping allows for full range of motion and can aid functional corrective exercises.  This can be very helpful when rehabilitating from sports injuries!  In contrast, more traditional sports tape is wrapped around a joint for stabilization and support during an athletic event.  K-Tape is used to treat a wide variety of problems such as rotator cuff issues of the shoulder, knee pain, foot and ankle problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, lower back pain … the list is extensive!
The water-resistant and breathing properties of the K-Tape allow long wearability and a high level of comfort.   Furthermore, K-Tape maintains consistent quality over a period of several days and under stress.  Skin irritation is rare, but the skin should be free of oil, sweat, or lotion prior to application.
K-Tape possesses some wonderful properties, but the taping technique is arguably the key component.  The actual application method of the tape depends is determined by the structure being taped and the desired effect (for example, muscle is taped differently depending whether the aim is to facilitate or relax the muscle, and connective tissue requires different strategies).  For this reason it is best to have a trained professional apply it and educate you as to how to best go about it.
Although I usually use K-Tape in combination with other treatment techniques, patients can come in simply for a taping and use the gym to maximize the benefit their rehabilitative sessions.  It really depends how far along they are in their recovery.  With many people training for marathons, Tough Mudder, and the Sun Run, K-Taping can be a very helpful tool to get the most from your training or your physiotherapy sessions. If you should have any questions, please feel free to ask…
Enjoy your Spring! Stuart

This entry was posted in Avoiding Injury, Sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.