Posted by: tatyana | July 22, 2014

Kinesio and me

I have been very skeptical about the Kinesio tape (KT.) I tried it once, right after I dropped the boot, and didn’t feel any difference. But then I cannot say I was really walking at that point, and by walking I mean not just stepping on the injured leg, but actually using the calf muscle to lift the heel and push off with each step. Once I started doing that, I developed soreness in the calf area and various little aches here and there, all of which were longed for, as they indicated that my muscles were still in place and functioning just alright. What bothered me was a terrible stiffness, painful and unpleasant, which I experienced every single morning. All I wanted was to stretch my AT before taking my first step of the day. I know it is common and yes, it does go away as I start walking. But it comes right back later! Every time I sit down and then get up, AT gets all tight and has to be stretched all over again.

My PT convinced me to give KT another try and I am glad I did. With the tape, I feel free of all this stiffness, tightness, little aches, and other annoying things. I just get up and go! I can walk longer distances without getting as tired as I would have been if I had not used the tape. In fact, I’ve had an experiment (inadvertently) this past weekend when I took KT off and performed all my regular weekend activities. I wear FitBit all the time and can tell that I haven’t done anything outrageous, but I felt absolutely exhausted. So I think I am a KT believer now.

I did a quick research on the tape in PubMed and none of the studies confirms any therapeutic effect associated with KT. Only one study cited increased ROM immediately after taping. But the thing is that none of these studies (at least the ones I went through) look at the “injured” individuals. They deal just with healthy athletes. Pretty much all KT research is focused on the effort to enhance athletic performance, not to treat a certain condition. Well, I can tell that I do feel the difference in ways I go through the days taped vs. un-taped and if all I have is only a “placebo” effect, then it is pretty powerful and I’ll take it, I like it, and I welcome it.

For people interested, here is a video showing the taping technique (and it is actually my PT) But she tapes me a little differently though.

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