Happy to let you know that all models and sizes of our popular waterproof Tiger Paw wrist supports are back in stock!
Hopefully we won’t have any more material supply issues
Sometimes things get challenging in the manufacturing business… We’ve been out of the bulk material for our popular Waterproof Paw for several weeks now. It seems the supplier has issue, LOL!
But the good news is we have it in now and are busy getting inventory built back up on the waterproof Paws, I’ll let you know as soon as they are available for purchase, sorry for the delays!
In Order to Apply Kinesio Kinesiology Tape Correctly We Need to Understand the Ways that It Stretches
Kinesio Tape’s Elasticity is What Makes it a Valuable Therapeutic Tool
It is designed to both restrict movement or increase movement, depending on the amount of stretch utilized in the application.
- The amount of stretch being used in an application is measured on a scale from 0-100%
- Just by gently pulling the tape from the paper you are utilizing 10-15% of available stretch
- Anything from 0-50% stretch will cause the recoil (the direction the tape will pull the tissues in) of the tape to pull back towards the starting anchor point
- Anything from 50-100% stretch will cause the recoil of the tape to pull the tissues toward the ending anchor point
- 0-50% stretch applications will cause partial facilitation or inhibition of movement. You will still be able to move the joints or areas somewhat freely, as you normally would
- 50-100% stretch applications will cause a substantially more limited movement capability. This amount of stretch is often used to manually change or control a joint or soft tissue structure. These are sometimes referred to as mechanical corrections. When applied correctly this technique can relieve vertebral & joint pressure on discs & nerves as well
Ok so here are the basic Recoil Principles of Kinesio Tape
- Stretch tape away from the anchor. (The anchor is the point that you lay down at the beginning & end of the tape that has no tension.) This will cause the tail (The tail is the portion of tape that you apply the stretch.) to recoil back to the anchor.
- When you apply stretch from the center out, both ends will be anchors. Rip the tape in the center & then stretch both ends away from one another, lay the stretched out center down first & activate, then lay the anchors down with no stretch. This will cause the tape to recoil from both sides back towards the middle.
- To encourage shortening of the muscle (to facilitate easier &/or fuller range of motion), tape from the origin point of the muscle all the way to the end of it. Generally speaking, think of origin as being the point closest to the center of the body. There are cases where this doesn’t apply, but you probably won’t run into that at home.
- To encourage elongation of the muscle (to inhibit movement &/or decrease range of motion), tape from the insertion point of the muscle all the way to it’s origin point. Generally speaking, think of insertion as being the point furthest from the center of the body.
- When taping for lymph drainage, begin your anchor in the direction you want the lymphatic fluids to flow. The tails should be recoiling back to the beginning anchor. The direction of the recoil will direct the lymphatics. In other words, the fluid will flow in the direction of the recoil.
How to Apply Kinesiology Tape
There are two working ‘parts’ to each piece of tape. An understanding of each will help you to maximize the benefits the tape has to offer. They are called the ‘anchor’ & the ‘tail’. Here we go:
ANCHOR: The anchors are usually the ‘ends’ of each piece of tape.
The anchor is the first 1-2 inches of tape you lay down at the beginning. This is what you will use for most applications.
- Sometimes the last 1-2 inches you finish up with are anchor points as well, & in certain situations the anchor point can be in the middle of the length of tape, & in some techniques it is found only at the end of the tape you lay down last.
More in depth explanations can be found in Kinesio Tex Tape Manuals which can be ordered online. I may post more on individual techniques if I get enough feedback requesting info. I’ll leave that to you guys to let me know. Moving along…
In some cases longer anchors will increase efficacy,durability, & wear comfort.
Long anchors will help the person being taped tolerate higher tensions & reduce the risk of soft tissue problems. There are a variety of situations that work better with longer anchor points.
I will go through them below.
Typically you won’t need to add any more than an inch or two to any extended anchor.
The length of each anchor can differ depending on
- the technique being used
- how long the entire length of the tape is
- how much tension or ‘pull’ is being utilized
- the area of the body the anchor will be applied to
- Soft skin areas will have a longer anchor so the tension is distributed along a greater area of the soft skin. Greater tension distribution makes it less likely for irritation to occur in sensitive areas.
- If the tension being used for the application is greater than 50-75% than the anchor should be longer. The nature of the tape is to stretch, so there is always a bit of pull or resistance at work after application. This is good. It’s why we use kinesio tape. When strong stretch is applied to a piece of tape the force of pull is greater.
What this means is that
- The edges, both along the length & the ends of the anchors are more likely to pull away from the skin. This is guaranteed to happen if you do not activate the adhesive properly at the initial application, however, even if the adhesive is properly bonded, with areas of high tension this pulling away can happen when you sweat profusely or when the taped area is exposed to vigorous movement.
- Longer anchors on each piece of tape applied with strong tension disperse that pulling tendency throughout the anchors, which minimizes the pulling away effect.
- High tension may cause irritation to areas of skin that are not soft. So even on areas where the skin is tougher, when using high tension techniques it is advisable to create longer anchors.
- The length of the tape can influence the length of the anchors. If it is a short piece of tape with high stretch in the belly of the tape you will want to use longer anchors. If it is a long piece of tape, even with 30% & higher it is good to use longer anchors. The reasoning here being that if it is a long piece of tape it is covering a long muscle, or series of joints & muscles. In either of those scenarios we will assume there will be a lot of regular movement, again, if you are taping areas that extend or articulate the anchor should be longer to limit peeling off.
TAIL: The tail is the portion of the tape that you apply tension to.
This is the area where the therapeutic work happens. The working part of the tape. This is where the tension is applied. It can range anywhere from ‘paper-off’ which is 15-25% of available pull to 75-100%.
- Tension applied at 50% & below will cause the tape to recoil back towards the initial anchor point.
- Tension applied at 50-100% will cause the tape to pull the tissues to be pulled in the direction of the end point anchor.
- Typically the tail starts at the end of the anchor & goes to the finish point of the tape. As I said earlier, I prefer anchoring both ends, but play around & see what works for you.
- In some applications the tail can actually be in the middle, as in a mechanical correction, or at both ends.
- In most applications the tensions require only “paper off” tension, which is 15-25% of the tape’s available stretch.
Now you know how the parts of the tape are designed to function. These are basic guidelines that will help you along the way to get the most therapeutic bennies from your kinesio taping efforts. Often it is a matter of trial & error. You can have an idea of what might work or provide relief & go for it. You will know pretty quickly if it is no bueno. A beneficial therapeutic tape application should not cause any pain & minimal discomfort, if any. Really there shouldn’t be any discomfort. Obviously there is discomfort from the injury or weakness you are addressing with the tape, but if you notice pain after application that wasn’t there before it is advisable to remove the tape & try again. Maybe with different tension, or different anchor point positions, or laying the tail down along a different path. As I said, there are manuals available that cover all the details & provide examples & patterns of tape techniques for every body part & injuries associated with each.
General Principles of Kinesio Taping
Anchors of tape are applied with zero tension.
3-5 Days average wear time. It takes about 3-5 days for skin cells to slough off which makes tape removal easier.
It is recommended to wait 24 hours between application of tape to same area so the skin has a chance to rest, which will reduce potential skin irritation. It is ok to tape a different area immediately after if you are looking to provide continuous therapeutic input to soft tissue.
Assess the skin after application and removal for irritation. Some people may experience sensitivity to the adhesive. If you notice irritation you might want to wait another day or two.
The tape is designed to be bathed and showered in. If initial activation of adhesive was done correctly water itself will not weaken the bond.
DO NOT USE A HAIR DRYER TO DRY THE TAPE. Doing so can cause the adhesive to bond too aggressively to the skin.
Use a towel to dab dry, the air will do the rest in a short amount of time.
It is recommended to remove tape immediately if skin irritation or allergic reactions are present. If sensitivities are suspected it is recommended to test tape a small square with zero tension on the area of intended application. Leave on for 24 hours. If no sensitivity is observed then tape on! If at any point irritation is noticeable remove tape and avoid taping the individual.
Most traditional taping techniques are applied within 15%-25% tension of available stretch.
MOST SKIN IRRITATION IS DUE TO TOO MUCH TENSION BEING APPLIED TO THE TAPE.
Apply tape AT LEAST 20-30 minutes before activities that will cause sweating, as this will weaken the adhesive bond before it has a chance to fully activate.
A slight amount of hair will not interfere with adhesive bond or cause irritation from hair pulling. Body hair that is too thick or long prevents enough skin to tape contact for the tape to be effective. It may be necessary to clip or shave area to be taped.
For optimum therapeutic benefit, apply tape to both the area of injury, weakness or instability, as well as the areas being affected by the initial injury.
Excerpt from “Kinesio Taping for Lymphoedema and Chronic Swelling”
By Kenzo Kase, DC, Founder of the Kinesio Taping Method, et al.