Kinesiology Tape Therapy: A Valuable Modality for the Chiropractor

Dr Tracy BarnesKinesiology tape and its associated therapeutic taping method, both developed by Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase in the mid-1970s, are still proving just as beneficial to chiropractic practices today as they did when Dr. Kase first used them in his own practice. An article exploring the relationship between kinesiology tape methods and chiropractic care, written by Tracy Barnes, DC, DICCP, CKTI, was published in the May, 2011, issue of Dynamic Chiropractic Practice INSIGHTS. The piece presents the kinesiology tape method as a “genuine value-added therapy” that was originally “designed to work in concert with chiropractic care.” In the article, Barnes sets forth the clear benefits of the taping method in today’s chiropractic environment. 

Chiropractors reading the article in this issue’s “Equip Your Clinic” section will receive a helpful mix of theory, expert opinion, and convincing anecdotal evidence from the practices of Barnes and other colleagues in her field. 

In her introduction, Barnes offers the following comparison between chiropractic care and elastic kinesiology tape methodology, highlighting the value of both modalities: “Chiropractic improves the efficiency of the body to heal itself through the use of manipulations to release restricted nerve pathways that inhibit normal function. It is non-invasive and succeeds without the use of pharmaceuticals. Elastic therapeutic taping succeeds in a similar manner.”

Aside from being a “billable insurance modality” in the United States, allowing physical and occupational therapists to use it under an MD’s supervision, kinesiology tape application is, according to Barnes, also otherwise “well-tailored to the chiropractic model.” Ron Frers, a licensed massage therapist and certified kinesio taping practitioner (CKTP) who works in a chiropractic environment, agrees: “Especially with acute patients, pain is reduced and a sense of security comes to the taped area. Elastic therapeutic taping fits easily into a chiropractic practice. It can be applied post-massage or at any time during the treatment protocol.”

Barnes describes kinesiology tape as being “like a phone call to your brain,” adding, “Even when we forget the tape is there, as we move, it continues to call the nervous system and give it messages to restore function in an area.”

Barnes goes on to explain the mechanism by which kinesiology tape application works. She describes elastic kinesiology tape as being “like an elastic band,” explaining that if you were to attach one end of the band to one end of a muscle and the other to the other end, the band would create “a mechanical recoil and a neurological stimulation / recoil, just as therapists do during rehab when they tape the skin / muscle to promote facilitation.” She adds that such a treatment “is effective for 24 hours a day for three to five days,” allowing “the doctor’s touch to remain with the patient for a more extended time period” and prolonging the work a chiropractor can do in one office session.

Some descriptors the article provides of various chiropractors’ thoughts on the use of kinesiology tape as a modality in their practices are “lucrative,” “profitable,” “cost-effective,” and “a true win-win.”

To read the rest of the article about kinesiology tape and its suitability to chiropractic, visit “The Therapeutic Taping Method: Genuine Value-Added Therapy.”

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