Kinesio tape is rapidly increasing in popularity as a complement to some physical therapy treatments. More than just a replacement for the old white athletic tape, it is more accurately described as a treatment modality for many musculoskeletal problems and injuries.  It can be useful for treating plantar fasciitis in addition to many other types of injuries.  Kinesio tape can be observed on many top athletes and is conspicuous by its bright colors and patterns.

Kinesio Tape Knee

KT Tape on runner’s knee

The difference between kinesio tape and its predecessors is its elasticity. The tape can stretch longitudinally by 60%, in stark contrast to the rigid nature of most athletic sport tapes. Kinesio tape is similar in elasticity to the human skin. This allows the wearer to keep full range of motion, while the tape still provides the desired level of support for injured muscles and tendons. This is ideal for treatment of plantar fasciitis as well. Kinesio tape is not suited for cases where complete immobilization is required because of its elasticity. However, a big majority of conditions are treated best with support instead of immobilization, and this is where Kinesio tape performs well.

 

Kinesio tape can be purchased online by following this KT link .

 

Kinesio Tape Back

Kinesio Tape on back

Kinesio tape adheres to the skin with an acrylic-based adhesive on the back of the tape. It is not a solid layer, but has a wavelike pattern such that the adhesive has an alternating stick/no stick arrangement. This allows for moisture to flow out of the taped area easily. This benefits athletes greatly, since the tape is not affected nearly as much by perspiration during activities. The tape even performs well in water for swimmers.

From a modality standpoint, the wavelike pattern of the adhesive  works well to relieve pain and inflammation by creating a pressure differential in the tissues which it is covering.  Kinesio tape is very beneficial to muscles recovering after an injury or surgery due to its supportive yet non-restrictive qualities. Additionally, the tape is gentler on the skin and does not usually cause any kind of irritation. The same taping can generally be worn for several days if needed.

Kinesio tape has roots in Japanese culture, and it was thrust into the international spotlight during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. There are well defined methods of applying the tape for its maximum benefit. There are numerous books available on the application methods.

Several varieties of kinesio tapes available. For example, Rock Tape is geared specifically for boosting athletic performance. It has a stronger adhesive, and is applied carefully over an entire series of related muscles, joints, and tendons to provide additional strength and support during an event. This is also known as Power Taping. For specific athletic injuries, Strength Tape is available in customized pre-cut strips. For medical conditions, standard KT tape is used for numerous beneficial purposes, such as carpal tunnel relief, and regaining muscle control after a stroke has occurred.

 

KT Tape

Kinesio Calf Taping

For plantar fasciitis specifically, Kinesio tape has provided adequate relief to many people who had little success with other treatment methods. The tape can alleviate the plantar fasciitis pain and promote healing. When applied correctly, it provides much additional support for the plantar fascia and helps reduce the inflammation in that area. Most successful cases involve traditional treatments as well, such as NSAIDs, stretching, icing, and weight loss.

 

A video showing the use of KT tape for plantar fasciitis treatment is shown below:

 

Kinesio tape can be purchased online by following the KT link here on this site.

A wonderful resource for Kinesio taping of all kind is located at the Kinesiology Tape Info website.

 

 

Images courtesy:

— Freedigitalphotos.net/ambro