Stop Pain Without Drugs: How Kinesio Tape Works
At Legacies Sports Massage and Chiropractic, many of our practitioners are trained in the new techniques of Stretch-tape (also known as Kinesio-tape, K-tape, Kin-tape, and Kinesiology Tape). This highly stretchable, breathable, hypoallergenic tape can be applied with or without a “stretch” for desired effects, and can stay on the skin for up to 5 days lasting through exercise and even swimming. A skilled practitioner can use the tape with different techniques to either correct posture, support an area, increase lymphatic and blood circulation, load or unload tendons, and even assist pain management.
Today, pain management will be our focus of discussion. Have you ever had an injury that causes a pain referral that lingers, no matter what you do? A pain that just throbs, and remains constant and dull? Maybe a back strain, or an elbow tendonitis? Maybe shoulder pain from repetitive strain at your computer work station? Pain is a terrible thing sometimes, and it can ruin your mental focus, affect your mood, and challenge your overall energy. Chronic pain is even worse, as it will effect your motivation and create serious limitations in your recovery. Have you ever been in this situation or know someone who is? Below I will describe how Kinesio-Tape can now assist patients to manage pain with this new exciting product…
Let me ask you a quick question that will help you understand how Kinesio-Tape helps inhibit pain: Have you ever banged your thumb – maybe with a hammer or in a door? What is the first thing you did (besides screaming)? You squeezed your thumb with your other hand, right? It is the mechanical compression that your hand squeezing your thumb creates that helps to “block” the nerve signals to the brain which are saying “My thumb really hurts!”. Without getting into the neuro-physiology, we can simply summarize and say that “compression inhibits pain signals by over-riding them”. Not exactly what happens, but pretty close (My old Neurology Instructor would probably gasp at that explanation!).
So here is how Kinesio-Tape works: the “stretch” with the tape the practitioner applies over an area of pain creates compression – just like your hand squeezing your thumb. The great thing with Kinesio-Tape however, is that this compression can last up to 5 days. What is key for the practitioner is to simply apply the Kinesio-Tape over your pain referral area.
I have personally practiced with this relatively new product for over a year in my clinic, and have had some amazing results with it. I have patients who are drug sensitive and cannot manage pain with medication, but Kinesio-Tape has. I have patients who were able to return to exercise with Kinesio-Tape because pain is being managed, and this has allowed them to overcome chronic pain syndromes and eventually return to normal activities in their day. It is a great tool for skilled practitioners, and will often be used with other appropriate modalities. Seek out a skilled practitioner, and see if Kinesio-Tape is right for you!