Kinesio-Tape

Cindy Stephens, LPTA – Encore Rehabilitation-Providence

Cindy Stephens LPTA revised

Meet Encore Rehabilitation Physical Therapist Assistant Cindy Stephens!

Cindy is a high energy team member who is enthusiastic about rehabilitation and recovery. Her  passion lies in treating patients through all stages of life with individual and personal care. She enjoys the challenges of student athletes as well as helping clients overcome everyday orthopedic ailments both before and after surgery. Cindy provides care at Encore Rehabilitation-Providence in Mobile, Alabama.

Cindy holds an Associate in Applied Science and graduated with honors from Bishop State with a Physical Therapist Assistant degree. She has advanced her education with completing Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization Certification. In addition to this she has completed courses in the following areas:
  • ACL Rehabilitation and Prevention
  • Concussions in Sports Medicine
  • Foot Orthotics
  • UCL Rehab Protocol for Throwing Shoulder Rehab
  • Kinesiotape/Rocktape Application.
She and her family reside in the Mobile area. Her hobbies include collecting vintage glass and antiques as well as spending time outdoors along the Gulf Coast.  She also enjoys attempting outlandish Pinterest projects and participation in Bootcamp classes.

 
Thanks, Cindy, for the high-quality care you provide!

Encore Rehabilitation – Providence
6701 Airport Blvd., Suite D-234, Mobile, Alabama 36608
251-634-2214

 

Kinesio tape: Many Olympians are wearing it, so does it really work?

It started showing up at the 2008 Olympics, we saw a lot of it in the 2012 Olympics, and I’ve seen in on multiple athletes in the 2016 Olympics–  swatches in various colors applied in seemingly haphazard patterns to the body surface.  With all the exposure, many are asking what does it do and does it work? Kinesio tape was developed in the 1970s by Kenzo Kaze-a chiropractor and acupuncturist. It is made of cotton, is latex free, and has a heat activated acrylic adhesive.

Plenty of elite athletes believe in it and claim that the tape is comfortable, flexible, and provides support to muscles and joints without limiting range of motion. It replicates the thickness and elasticity of skin, helping with function, stability, blood flow, and peace of mind.

 

“Enthusiasts also believe that kinesiology tape speeds healing by slightly lifting skin away from sore or injured tissues, improving blood flow and lymphatic drainage, and that it supports injured joints and muscles without impeding their range of motion. But these purported benefits are largely unsubstantiated.” – The New York Times 

It’s true, clinical trials have not provided much support for the tape. One study found that the tape provided relief from shoulder pain immediately after application, but, the effects did not last over time. Another study found small beneficial results with range of motion.

None of the studies reported negative effects which may be why trainers use the tape on athletes who report benefits with it. According to Aaron Brock ATC, director of sports medicine for USA Volleyball, he has had “hit and miss results…some people absolutely love it…and sometimes, from a therapeutic perspective, we’re doing so many things,we don’t know what is effective and what isn’t…”

The bottom line is, more scientific research is needed to make a conclusive determination for its claims. But I have to give Kinesio tape credit since i’ve seen so many Olympians wearing it. Plus, it just looks really cool.

 

**This article was written by Jennifer Cordover, Director of Encore Performance Rehab in Birmingham, AL. 

Kinesio-Tape. Does it really work?

“The answer depends on whom you ask. Obviously plenty of elite athletes believe in it and claim that the tape, which replicates the thickness and elasticity of skin, provides support to muscles and joints without limiting range of motion. According to William Schobert, MD, the surgeon who treated the Olympic beach volleyball champions, Ms. Walsh Jennings says, “I absolutely believe in Kinesio tape. It has helped me with function, stability, blood flow, and peace of mind.”

“It is a very comfortable, directionally flexible tape used for musculoskeletal support in the athletic training setting,” he said. It is used for soft-tissue support as well as joint support. Its application isn’t a panacea but can be a boost to athletes with injuries in a competitive environment.”

Among the proposed beneficial effects of the tape are the following:

  • To provide a positional stimulus through the skin
  • To align fascial tissues
  • To create more space by lifting fascia and soft tissue above the area of pain/inflammation
  • To provide sensory stimulation to assist or limit motion
  • To assist in the removal of edema by directing exudates toward a lymph duct.

Anecdotally, athletes and trainers say they have seen these outcomes in at least some individuals. “I’ve had hit-and-miss results,” said Aaron Brock, ATC, director of sports medicine for USA Volleyball, which encompasses both men’s and women’s teams. “Some people absolutely love it. They’re seeing great results.

“But I don’t say, ‘man, every time I use this, it has great results,’” he continued. “Sometimes, from a therapeutic perspective, we’re doing so many different things that we don’t know what is effective and what isn’t.”

The literature does not provide much conclusive support for the efficacy of the tape, and few well-controlled studies with high-quality evidence have been performed. A randomized, double-blinded clinical trial was done in 2008 to evaluate the effect of tape use on shoulder pain. Patients with rotator cuff tendinitis or impingement received either a tape application or a sham. The tape group did show immediate improvement in pain-free shoulder abduction that was statistically significant (P = 0.005), but by day 6 both groups had significantly improved in all outcome variables, exceeding the criteria for success.

The authors noted that the patient group was young, with an average age of 20, and that older patients might have different results. Because of the initial positive finding, this study has sometimes been cited in the popular press as supporting the use of the tape, but the authors concluded, “Utilization of Kinesio taping for decreasing pain intensity or disability for younger patients with suspected shoulder tendonitis/impingement is not supported.”

Other reliable studies find little evidence to support using the tape, although some small investigations reported some positive results. A recent meta-analysis found that, overall, “the efficacy of Kinesio tape in pain relief was trivial given there were no clinically important results.” Small beneficial results on range of motion were found in one study, and “trivial” results in two other studies across numerous joint measurements were found. The analysis cited a likely beneficial effect for proprioception regarding grip force sense error, but no positive outcome for ankle proprioception.

The analysis concluded that little quality evidence supported the use of Kinesio tape over other types of elastic taping in the management of sports injuries and called for further research to confirm findings of possible positive effects.

Some studies may point to the need for further research. For example, one study found that taping on baseball players with shoulder impingement resulted in positive changes in scapular motion and muscle performance.

None of the studies reported negative effects, which may be why trainers like Mr. Brock of USA Volleyball use the tape on players who report benefits with it.

“Primarily, I like it for some postural cuing around the scapularis,” he said. “It provides some proprioceptive cuing for the scapular stabilizers to improve activation in the scapular muscles, thereby putting the athlete in a better postural position. Bottom line, I like to use it for muscle education or proprioception. I’ll also use it if I feel I can get some activation if for whatever reason a muscle isn’t turning on so well.”

A question of direction
Mr. Brock said he would like to see research that tests whether the direction in which the tape is applied determines whether a muscle is activated or inhibited. Under the theory of directional effect, the tape would be applied distal to proximal for inhibition and from proximal to distal for activation. For quadriceps inhibition, for example, the tape would be pulled from the patella toward the hip. The rationale is that the applied tape would continue to pull directionally with elastic tension.

“I have a hard time thinking that changing the direction completely changes the effect,” Mr. Brock said. For me, that’s a little bit of a stretch.”

He also said he would like to see more research into the effect of taping on edema and swelling, noting the tape could be useful in a physical therapy setting where the patient is not constantly seen. The tape can stay adhered for as long as 5 days and can endure water.

He recommends that anyone interested in using the tape receive instruction. He does not recommend self-application by athletes or patients. Ms. Walsh Jennings said, “Proper application is paramount to its effectiveness.”

“You can experiment with it, but I think it’s important to hear how the people who made the tape recommend using it,” Mr. Brock said. “Depending on what you are trying to do, you’ll put the tape on differently. With the basic guidelines that instructors give you, there’s a lot of leeway for experimentation.”

He added that for volleyball players and overhand athletes, he often turns to elasticized shirts such as those made by IntelliSkin, which operate similarly to Kinesio tape.

“The shirts have a little extra pull in the scapular region,” he said. “I’ll wear one sometimes if I’m getting into that forward-head, rounded shoulder, kyphotic type of position. Surgeons might even want to try it, as well as people who sit at a computer all day. I think it helps posturing. I’ve gone in that direction often for the scapularis. All the men volleyball players have them, and some wear them during matches.”

As for the tape, Mr. Brock will continue to use it, if for no other reason than for the “peace of mind” Ms. Walsh Jennings cited. “There is a psychological component,” he said. “If nothing else, you get a little extra proprioceptive feedback, and maybe your central nervous system and peripheral nervous system are communicating a little better.”

Bottom Line

  • Kinesio tape is a cloth tape with the thickness and elasticity of the epidermis.
  • Among its purported benefits are lifting of the skin and fascia, support of muscles and joints, and enhanced proprioception.
  • Although one randomized, double-blinded clinical trial found that the tape provided relief from shoulder pain immediately after application, the effect did not last over time.
  • Little high-quality evidence indicates the efficacy of the tape, and more scientifically valid studies are needed to make a conclusive determination for its claims.”

 

*This article was written by Terry Stanton, senior science writer for AAOS Now, and retrieved from: http://www.aaos.org/AAOSNow/2012/Nov/cover/cover1/?ssopc=1