Virtually all musculoskeletal problems may benefit from Kinesio taping.
Kinesio Tape is becoming more widely recognized as a valuable part of the modern physical therapy program. Physical therapists all over the U.S. have discovered that Kinesio Tape can enhance the effectiveness of physical therapy, while improving the outcome of a wide array of other treatment modalities.
One such physical therapy clinic, Spinal Dynamics of Wisconsin, shares the good news about the use and effectiveness of Kinesio Tape in its therapy program: “Virtually all musculoskeletal problems may benefit from Kinesio taping.” The company goes on to explain its assessment of the proper role of Kinesio Tape therapy in the overall physical therapy program: “Kinesio taping is best used as an adjunct to therapy and exercise. It can dramatically speed the rehabilitation process by lessening pain and improving tolerance to exercise and movement.”
The description of Kinesio Taping found on the Spinal Dynamics website does, however, add that the successful use of Kinesio Tape during physical therapy is strongly dependent on clinician knowledge and that a “thorough evaluation” is critical in determining which taping techniques are appropriate for individual situations since “the clinician must know if the patient needs taping to assist muscle strengthening or to assist muscle relaxation, as the taping technique will be different.” In fact, if one were to distil the Kinesio Tape philosophy of the professionals at Spinal Dynamics into a single sentence, the best sentence for the purpose would likely be the one found at the end of the Spinal Dynamics clinic’s Kinesio Taping section: “A good physical therapy program goes hand-in-hand with good taping.”
Other physical therapists agree with the above clinical assessment. In a post on the Mary Lou Corcoran Blog, Julie Wallace, of Mary Lou Corcoran Physical and Aquatic Therapy in New York, describes the clinical use of Kinesio Tape as “a non-invasive technique … that not only reduces pain and increases movement, but also supports injured muscles, facilitates weakened muscles and increases blood flow.”
Like the therapists at Spinal Dynamics, Wallace also stresses the importance of “a trained and experienced physical therapist (who) will have the knowledge to utilize a variety of Kinesio Taping techniques designed to meet each patient’s individual needs depending on the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints that may be the source of a patient’s pain and dysfunction.”
Wallace’s post, Kinesio Taping and Physical Therapy, also points out several specific treatment modalities that trained clinicians may use in conjunction with Kinesio Tape in the physical therapy setting:
“Kinesio Tape, by itself, will rarely serve as a stand alone treatment. However, when used in conjunction with other treatment methods (i.e. stretching/strengthening activities, massage, heat/ice, electrical stimulation, patient education, activity modification) a patient may find themselves getting better, faster than they had imagined possible.”
Like the two clinics mentioned above, many other physical therapy clinics all over the U.S. are discovering the synergistic effects of using Kinesio Tape in conjunction with other treatment modalities and are making this practice an integral part of their treatment programs. Physical therapy patients, as well as those in the process of being referred for physical therapy, may want to inquire about whether the clinic that will be treating them uses Kinesio Tape as part of its physical therapy protocol.