What is Kinesiology?
Kinesiology, derived from the Greek word “kinesis” for movement, is the study of the mechanics of the body and how it moves. This branch of medicine got its start with a chiropractor to evaluate one’s health through studying the biofeedback of muscles. One of the main principles of applied kinesiology is identifying how stress on the body can lead to the weakening of a single muscle.
Trained kinesiologists do their best to utilize the body’s own healing powers to identify if the presenting complaint is physical, emotional, or biochemical, or originating from a non-organic source. The aim is to detect and correct any imbalances that could be associated with stress, nutrition, or minor injuries.
Kinesiology views the body as a machine that is controlled by the brain that is constantly communicating with muscles and tissues throughout the body. Healthy muscles are balanced while unhealthy muscles and tissues are out of balance and become weak due to being overstressed. Kinesiology Taping’s goal is to regain a healthy balance in the muscles and tissues by wrapping them with a supportive material – kinesiology tape.
With over 50 different types of kinesiology tapes on the market, there is quite a selection from which providers can choose. The tape is breathable, comes in different forms such as cotton, latex, or nonlatex, and can be worn during exercise and showers for approximately 3-5 days. The focus of this type of taping is to provide support, lessen pain, reduce swelling (edema), and improve range of motion.
Made with medical-grade adhesive and to be very stretchy, the tape is applied to the skin, causing the skin to lift and create a small space between the skin and the underlying tissue and joints. Studies have shown that although very small, the created spaces around the joints can reduce the chance of joint irritation. The taping gives room for the connective tissue surrounding the impacted muscle or tendon to move with the body. This allows the flow of blood and lymphatic fluid to cleanse and repair the inflamed area in hopes of avoiding the need for medications or surgery.
There have been studies that suggest that providing this type of support can lead to an increase in circulation and blood flow as well as change the sensory information the nervous system communicates about the pained area. Others assert that kinesiology taping re-trains muscles to regain their proper level of functioning. In stroke patients, it has been attributed to improving how they walk and in correcting posture of the head and neck for others.
Areas on the body where Kinesiology Taping is commonly used:
Who could benefit from Kinesiology Taping?
- Professionals who engage in strenuous physical labor and repetitive movements
- People who sit and work at a desk for long periods or who have a sedentary lifestyle
- Athletes and those who consistently physically active through exercise
- Those who have prolonged histories of bad posture or poor sleeping habits
- Joint pain sufferers and those who have had joint, muscle, or tendon injuries due to disease or accidents
Take-away: This treatment is a special taping technique that provides support and stability without restricting the range of motion. It is used to reduce edema, pain, inflammation, and spasm to improve blood flow in the affected area. To be able to know if Kinesiology Taping will assist in your healing journey, please schedule a full consultation with Dr. Thompson. In that consultation, you will discuss the method, materials, the process, and how to manage proper after-care.
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