The Kinesio Taping Method is a therapeutic tool used by rehabilitation professionals in all types of programs (pediatric geriatric orthopedic neuro oncology and others) and levels of care (acute care inpatient rehabilitation. outpatient home care and Day Rehab). The idea of implementation elastic tape, which mimics the doctor’s arm, was first offered by Dr. Kenzo Kase in the 1970s. Since then it has become a way of managing pain management soft tissue injuries muscle and joint irregularities edema and so on. The Kinesio Taping Method uses four types of Kinesio Tex Tapes each with specific properties designed to be used on moderately sensitive skin or applied to more sensitive skin. The Kinesio Taping Method has also been found to be effective in veterinary medicine and uses two special types of tape: Kinesio Equine and Kinesio Canine.
Kinesio Tex tape contains 100% cotton and elastane, or it can be a blend of polyester and cotton and elastane. The latter is the preferred choice for Kinesio patch application on sensitive skin when higher tension on the tape is required to obtain the desired results. tape is acrylic adhesive is used on the back of the paper and expanded by 10-15%. This amount of stretch is used in some Kinesio Taping techniques and is called paper off tension. Other characteristics of Kinesio Tex Tape include:
- Ability to stretch to 120-140% of its original length
- Return to the unstretched anchor
- Heat activated adhesive
- Hypoallergenic dyes making the tape safe for most users
- The drying time after wetting will be 5-10 minutes
- Can be worn for several days
Type of Kinesio Tex Tapes
There are currently 4 types of tapes available for Kinesio Taping Method use for humans and 2 types of tapes for animals. Each practitioner can choose the most appropriate tape based on the desired results and the condition of the patient’s skin. When an untrained person considers taping individually it is suggested to use Classic or Performance+ Tape.
The following are tape types and their characteristics:
- Kinesio Tex Classic: an original tape that has had many improvements over time that is universal so it can be used for all applications and is ideal on healthy skin.
- Kinesio Tex Performance+: unique looser pattern in tread polyester and cotton blend well for sensitive skin while applying high tension on the tape.
- Kinesio Tex Gold: unique distribution adhesive allows good attachment without requiring large surface area good for low tension applications and is only available to trained personnel.
- Kinesio Tex Gold Light Touch Plus: distributed adhesive so that it can be held gently does not last as long as other types so it is used for short-term applications and is generally used for children and older adults with soft skin.
- Kinesio Equine: designed to be used on horses, the Kinesio Taping method can be applied directly to the horse’s hair and is tasteless.
- Kinesio Canine: used on dogs and works well with canine hair.
The theory of Kinesio Taping is based on neurophysiological processes and the effects of mechanical stimulation on systems in the body:
Central Nervous System (CNS): Kinesio Tex Tape applied to the skin in varying degrees of stretch creates a mechanical stimulus and activates a pathway to the CNS
Skin: Low-impact Kinesio Tex Tape changes the tightness and density of pores and skin. This conversion of mechanical stimuli into electrical impulses is called mechanotransduction and can cause cell movement.Kinesio Tex Tape creates tension and stretch in the skin which may possibly stimulate mechanoreceptors. These stimuli interact with the CNS and modulate the pain response.
Fascia: Application of Kinesio Tex Tape alters elements of tension in tissues to promote homeostasis. The tension applied by the tape releases any movement restriction of the fascia through the movement of the skin relative to the target tissue.  
Lymphatic and Circulatory System: The use of Kinesio Tex Tape facilitates the opening of microvalves due to dynamic pressure changes due to changes in skin density. This decompression activates the lymphatics in the dermis and improves lymphatic flow. The end result is muscle decreased swelling and inflammation.Skin lift is also shown to tear the fibers that connect the skin to the endothelial cells of the lymphatic and capillary beds. This is suggested to create pathways that allow the blood fluid to permeate thus reducing inflammation and increasing blood pressure local flows.
Basics of Application
- Complete the patient assessment to determine the most appropriate intervention. Specific Kinesio Taping Method assessment tools should be included in this program.
- Follow contraindications and precautions when choosing the Kinesio Taping Method
- Apply the tape to dry skin free of oil and makeup
- If possible, remove body hair by trimming or shaving the area
- Follow the tension guidelines
- Tape around all the edges to prevent premature peeling
- Avoid touching the adhesive side of the tape after removing the backing as this may reduce the bond strength on the skin
- After applying the tape, activate the hot adhesive by rubbing the tape surface for a few minutes
- Reassess for post-application results
- Ask the patient to postpone sweating activities for 30 minutes if possible
- Tell the patient not to remove the tape if the pain or burning sensation occurs or the pain increases
- Instruct the patient and caregiver how to remove the tape if necessary
- Provide the patient with verified consent and an information sheet that includes an explanation of:
- signs and symptoms of skin inflammation and skin rash
- instruction on tape removal
- information how long to wear the tape
- physiotherapist contact information
Contraindications and Precautions
It is up to individual physical therapists to use their judgment when choosing the Kinesio Taping Method. The decision should be based on the physical therapist’s clinical experience and experience with taping gained by taking Kinesio Taping Method certification courses.
General contraindications are:
- Infection, cellulitis
- Open wound
- Former blisters around Kinesio Tex Tape
General precautions are:
- Congestive heart failure (CHF)
- Patient on dialysis/Kidney disease
- Organ transplants
Types of Applications
Specific applications are provided which can be defined by:
Tape application (Classic Perfomance+ Gold Gold Light Touch Plus EDF) .
Tape Cutting (YIX Fan Web Donut Jelly Fish Snowflake EDF)
Y cutI cutX cutFan cut
Tape length and width (for example, four 2.5 cm rectangles) .
Methodology (EDF Fascia correction Mechanical correction Spatial correction Lymphatic correction hyperactivity or dysfunction Musculoskeletal and vascular correction)
The position of the patient at the time of administration
Pressure applied to the tape (expressed in %) .
Tape direction (proximal or distal)
Example: One Kinesio Tex Performance+ 6 squares 5 cm I strip Mechanical correction using 75% tension centrally for patella stability. Initial patient position: lying on the floor with the knee flexed 20 degrees.
Type of Application Stretch
The target muscles should be lengthened before applying the tape. A variety of stretches can be used on the tape and depending on the muscle we choose to touch.
- Ultra light 0-5% (epidermis)
- Super light 5-10% (dermis)
- Paper-off 10-15%(superficial fascia)
- Moderate 25-50% (deep fascia)
- Severe 75% (tendon)
- Full 100% (ligament)
For percentage width, specify the percentage width.
Tape direction and Technique used
The direction and mechanism of taping are determined on the basis of histological examination. The Kinesio Taping Method proposes two assessment tools: the Manual Direction Test (MDT) for the muscles and the Manual Direction Test (MDT) for the muscles. MDT for the muscle has three components: glide decompression and oppressive pressure. The MDT for muscles has one feature: glide
Level of evidence – varies
There is a high degree of inconsistency with research on the effectiveness of the Kinesio Taping Method. There are several factors causing this problem:
- The study is completed by untrained clinicians who have no information on the methodological aspect of the subjects and their experience with the Kinesio Taping Method.
- A protocol or incompatible protocol is used based on the method described in the Kinesio Taping manual. Kinesio Taping application should be chosen based on the patient’s assessment and targeting of the primary muscles affected. Example: Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) can have twenty aetiologies range from foot alignment problems to tree muscle strength that requires very different taping.
- Tape types other than Kinesio Tex Tape are used for research purposes but Kinesio Tex Tape properties are used when describing the process. Each elastic tape has a different paper-off tension as the amount and type of adhesive varies and the properties of the elastic vary.
- Reviews of studies investigating the effects of the Kinesio Taping Method and the Kinesiology Method are often included as one method when in fact these are two different methods using different tapes. Kinesiology taping evolved from the Kinesio Taping Method and was based on. the same principle. However, the two methods cannot be considered synonymous and cannot be used interchangeably as they currently occur in the research literature because:
- In Kinesiology taping a variety of tapes are used ranging from K-Active AcuTop Theraband to brand-specific for a country but the stretching rules for application techniques are based on Kinesio Tex Tape. None of the tapes mentioned above have been tested for stretch so clinicians do not realize that 15% stretch on K-Active equals 15 % stretch on AcuTop. Extensibility is one of the key principles because targeting specific tissues is the therapeutic goal.
- The Kinesio Taping Method has evolved over the past 20 years from a mechanical effect on the muscle to a neurophysiological one based on observations in cellular biology of fascia and mechanotransduction. Kinesiology taping principles did not change.
- Studies are conducted on healthy subjects as the primary effect of the Kinesio Taping Method is to return the muscles to homeostasis. Kinesio Taping is a technique used to help deteriorate musculoskeletal systems.
What does the evidence support?
- Increase ROM
- Improve Function
- Decrease Oedema/Swelling
- Decrease Pain
- Improvement in Quality of Life (QL) .
- Some evidence proves theories
- It offers a potential therapeutic option
- It involves a number of patients in various stages of rehabilitation
- Pain reduction encourages movement
- The patient can be taught self-management techniques
- Inconsistent evidence for hypotheses
- It can be expensive with long-term use
- It can cause skin irritation or tape allergy
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