Have you ever watched a sporting event and noticed athletes wearing tape on parts of their body? Kinesiology tape provides many benefits to athletes and even for day-to-day activities.
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What is Kinesiology Tape?
You do not need to be a professional athlete to benefit from kinesiology tape. People use kinesiology tape, commonly known as KT tape, to reduce pain and disability from athletic injuries or disorders. The tape provides support and stability to the affected muscles or joints.
“The primary goals of KT tape are to reduce pain and swelling and to improve range of motion, neurological input, and confidence,” says Amy Wibholm, DPT, MPT, ATC at McFarland Clinic Physical Therapy.
Nick Zika, an active athlete, was experiencing anterior knee pain. He was diagnosed with jumper’s knee by Dr. Bryan Warme, Orthopedic Surgeon at McFarland Clinic. Jumper’s knee is an injury to the patellar tendon, which attaches the kneecap to the top of the shinbone. Dr. Warme performed surgery to remove damaged tissue and repair the tendon.
Regaining Strength with Kinesiology Tape
After surgery, Nick started physical therapy. The goal was to regain strength and resume his sporting activities. Nick's providers determined he would likely benefit from the use of kinesiology tape for his knee. The tape would also likely help with chronic pain in his Achilles tendon.
“When applied correctly, KT tape gently lifts the skin away from the tissues below,” says Amy. “When the skin is lifted, it creates space to improve blood and lymphatic flow. This helps to relieve pressure and reduce swelling of the injured area.”
During his physical therapy sessions, Nick would have KT tape applied to his knee and ankle. He would then perform activities for strength, endurance, and balance. KT tape is waterproof and can stay intact for several days.
"I enjoy the feel and flexibility of the tape,” Nick says. “It is also very durable and lasts a number of days before requiring replication; I can use the tape for both work and activity without hindrance."
Nick wears the tape during his pickleball and volleyball activities. The tape helps reduce the stress and strain to his injured tendons.
Return to Sport
Thanks to Nick’s dedication and determination during physical therapy, he was able to return sports just a few months after his surgery. He continues to go to physical therapy to improve his core and lower body strength, endurance, and power and to prevent further injury.
The physical and occupational therapy staff at McFarland Clinic use kinesiology tape on patients of all ages to assist in their recovery from injuries. If you are experiencing aches and pains or just want to feel better, stronger, or faster, contact our physical therapy department for more information. No referral is necessary.