The Kinesio Taping® Method enhances the body’s natural healing process and provides support through the muscles.
How can something so gentle be so effective to reduce pain?
KTM allows for full range of motion. It does not negatively affect circulation, since there is no wrapping, and therefore no impediment of blood flow. KTM is a “light” modality. In rehabilitative applications it works continuously, so each treatment can continue for 2 to 3 days. KTM is like having healing hands to put on the area 24-7.
To illustrate: When you bump your knee, your elbow, your head, (any part of your body) what is your first, unthinking response? You rub on it. That works; it feels better. Why?
What is in effect here is something called Gate Control Theory: The rubbing provides a distraction, impeding the brain’s message of pain, closing the “gate” on pain receptors, at least temporarily. But this sensation effect is only the beginning.
Dr. Kase bases his techniques on three important concepts. They are Space, Movement and Cooling. Muscles that are painful and/or inflamed lack space. When the KTM technique is applied to create space, it is helpful in and of itself, but also leads to the opportunity for improved movement and circulation. This space and movement then allows for cooling of the affected muscles, often combined with cryotherapy.
By targeting different receptors within the somatosensory system, the KTM alleviates pain and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin. This lifting affect forms convolutions in the skin thus increasing interstitial space and allowing for a decrease in inflammation of the affected areas.
The KTM starts with two basicmuscle taping techniques. These are used to balance muscles and bring them up to functional level. The first is applied for overuse and acute injuries and for rehabilitation. In such cases the tape is applied insertion to origin. The second is applied for increased muscle function and to address chronic conditions. Origin to insertion taping is used here.
In addition to these basic techniques, there are many correctional procedures that deal with positioning as well as other specific purposes such as pain relief. All the correctional procedures are specific, including treatments for cerebral palsy, pediatric needs, lymphoedema and a host of other specific conditions.
The following areas are addressed by correctional procedures:
- Mechanical Correction
- Fascia (Fascial) Correction
- Space Correction
- Ligament/Tendon Correction
- Functional Correction
- Circulatory/Lymphatic Correction
A key focus of KTM training and practice is the process of assessment. Assessing the patient’s condition, looking at both the symptoms and the likely cause of each individual patient’s condition, is the only way to successful treatment.
Evaluation and assessment dictate the treatment of any clinical condition. In order to get the desired results from a Kinesio Taping® Method application or any other treatment, a full assessment of the patient is necessary. In some cases, the treatment of a condition may also require that other underlying conditions be addressed. Assessment should include the Kinesio screening test: manual muscle testing, range of motion testing, gait assessment, and any other orthopedic special tests that the practitioner may deem necessary.
The findings of the clinical evaluation or assessment dictate the specifics of the KTM application and other possible treatments or modalities. Delicate adaptations are necessary, whether utilizing of single “I” strips or modifications in the shape of an “X”, “Y” or other specialized shapes, or calibrating the direction and amount of stretch placed on the tape at time of application. The KTM is applied in hundreds of ways and has the ability to re-educate the neuromuscular system, reduce pain and inflammation, provide support, prevent injury and promote good circulation and healing. All these work toward the goal of balance, of returning the body to homeostasis.
The information gained from proper assessments will allow for the most effective treatment protocol to be laid out. The Kinesio Taping® Method has been shown to have positive physiological effects on the skin, lymphatic and circulatory system, fascia, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints. It can be used in conjunction with a multitude of other treatments and modalities, and is effective during the acute, chronic and rehabilitative phases of injury as well as for preventative measures.