You may have seen this brightly coloured tape adorning various athlete's bodies at the Olympics, Wimbledon, and other professional sporting events - K-tape is a breakthrough technique for sports injuries and rehabilitation which helps to reduce recovery times and improve fitness levels.
K- tape is a widely used type of strapping used to take pressure off injured and overused muscles and joints. The difference with K-tape is that, unlike the traditional taping techniques which involve wrapping the tape around the joint, K-tape is placed on the body in different patterns allowing it to pull different degrees of tension in the desired area, mimicking the body's muscles. The adhesive is patterned in such a way that it physically lifts the skin away from the tissues underneath therefore taking pressure of an injured area and allowing fluid to move and drain. This reduces swelling and inflammation, and affects the neurological transmissions around the area therefore reducing pain. By placing the tape in the direction of the muscles, it aims to facilitate the body's natural healing process and increasing the body's natural blood flow without restricting the body's range of movement.
Kinesiology taping was a created in the 70s by Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase in an attempt to prolong the effects of his treatments. It has been further developed in Europe since the late 1990's by the the 'K-Taping International Academy' based in Germany.
Due to the elasticity and flexible nature of the tape along with the adhesive, the tape aims to heal and relieve pressure whilst allowing the muscle to maintain flexibility which can aid the healing process as opposed to keeping the joint immobilized as with rigid tape.
The tape is latex-free, and there is no elastoplasts in the adhesive, hence it can also be worn for up to 7 days at a time. This sustained treatment benefits a number of orthopaedic, neuromuscular and neurological elements associated with an injury.
There is a myth that the different colours of tape are specifically designed for different treatments. Therapists may use the different colours to identify the areas that they are treating, but there are other theories behind the colours. Chromatics refers to the properties of colour, ie blue is a cold colour, red is a warming colour etc. If a joint is swollen then you would apply blue to calm the injury. Another theory relates to Colour therapy: a complimentary therapy dating back to ancient cultures of Egypt, India and China and is based on the idea that each colour has it's own wavelength and energy. Finally, a simpler theory is that the colours and shapes gives mental focus to the area being treated which helps the neurological therapy aspects of the injury and reduce pain.
Remember - you shouldn't try to apply k-tape yourself without any training. Physiotherapists have to undergo specific training to understand how to apply the tape effectively in order to imitate the pattern of recruitment so that the tape will work with your muscles to offer the most effective application and thus facilitating the healing process.
In addition to treating patients with K-Tape, Richard is K-Tape tutor and is available to teach workshops and formal courses to Physiotherapists, all other Health Professionals and Sports clubs. Content can be adapted accordingly.
Contact us to find out more or call us on 01270 661661 for further details
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After years of pain and discomfort and seeing numerous Dr’s, Specialists and Physio’s I’d just about given in to the fact that I’d never be without this pain/discomfort. After just one session with Richard I came away feeling refreshed and hopeful I could be normal again. He recognised my issues almost instantly (which numerous others had missed)and explained everything clearly – a complete breathe of fresh air. I’d have no hesitation in recommending him to anyone.
We have a reputation for excellence locally as each member of our team has many years experience working in the field of musculoskeletal disorders both in and out of the NHS.
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