Kinesiology Taping for Muscle, Ligament, and Tendon Injuries

by Jamie Holland, LAc, ABT, ACN

In the world of sports medicine, innovative methods are continuously being explored to enhance recovery and improve functional performance following muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries. Among these methods, kinesiology taping has emerged as a popular and effective technique, often used alongside traditional treatments such as acupuncture. This article delves into the benefits, techniques, and application of kinesiology taping, helping our patients understand how this method can be integrated into rehabilitation programs.

What is Kinesiology Taping?

Kinesiology taping is a therapeutic technique that involves applying a special elastic tape to the skin. This tape is designed to mimic the elasticity of human skin, facia, and muscles and can be stretched to up to 140% of its original length. Unlike conventional athletic tapes, which are primarily used to immobilize joints, kinesiology tape provides dynamic support, enhances sensory feedback, and promotes circulation.

The Science Behind Kinesiology Taping

The effectiveness of kinesiology taping is rooted in its ability to slightly lift the skin from the underlying tissues. This lifting effect creates a sub-dermal space that can help reduce inflammation, alleviate pain, and facilitate lymphatic drainage. The tape's elastic properties also support the muscles, ligaments, and tendons, enabling them to perform their natural functions while recovering from injury. The application of kinesiology tape allows the muscles and ligaments to relax more fully when at rest, and not to be jarred or aggravated as aggressively when working out or active. In addition, decompression taping allows more space for the beneficial actions of inflammation healing to occur without causing pain or more damage.

Applications in Sports Acupuncture

Kinesiology taping can be a very helpful complementary addition to sports acupuncture treatments. When used in conjunction with acupuncture, the tape can help prolong the benefits achieved during the needling session. Kinesiology taping can enhance the therapeutic effects achieved through acupuncture by promoting better circulation and muscle function, and allowing the injured tissue more time and rest to heal post sports acupuncture treatment.

Techniques and Patterns

The application of kinesiology tape varies depending on the target area and the specific injury. Here are some common techniques used to tape different body parts:

  • Muscle injuries: For muscle strains or tears, the tape is applied over and around the affected muscle in a stretched position. This technique supports the muscle during activity and reduces the load placed on it during healing.
  • Ligament injuries: In cases of ligament sprains, the tape is used to stabilize the affected joint without restricting its entire range of motion. The application aims to provide support and reduce stress on the ligament.
  • Tendon injuries: For tendinopathies, the tape is often applied in a manner that unloads the tendon (e.g., patellar tendonitis). This unloading helps decrease tension and pain in the tendon during movement.

Benefits of Kinesiology Taping

Kinesiology taping offers several benefits for athletes and active individuals recovering from injuries:

  • Pain Reduction: The lifting mechanism of the tape can alleviate pressure on pain receptors under the skin, helping to reduce discomfort.
  • Reduced Swelling and Inflammation: By enhancing circulation and lymphatic drainage, the tape can help accelerate the removal of fluids and other materials that contribute to swelling and inflammation.
  • Improved Muscle Function: The tape's supportive properties can help maintain muscle strength and endurance, allowing individuals to continue training and performing activities with reduced risk of re-injury.
  • Enhanced Proprioception: The sensory stimulation from the tape can improve awareness of joint and limb positioning, which is crucial for avoiding injury during physical activities.

Conclusion

Kinesiology taping is a valuable tool in the arsenal of sports medicine, providing support, easing discomfort, and facilitating quicker recovery from muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries. When combined with sports acupuncture, the benefits of both therapies can be significantly enhanced, offering athletes a dynamic approach to recovery and performance maintenance. Whether you are a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, incorporating kinesiology taping into your recovery regimen could be a game-changer in your return to peak performance.


Michelle Astringer
Michelle Astringer
2024-03-26
I have been working with Jamie 2x per week for the past couple of weeks. He is extremely attentive, understanding and thorough. I was nervous to start with acupuncture because of my herniated disc and fear of needles but he has made the experience feel very safe and comfortable. I’ve noticed a decrease in pain after suffering for over a year. Highly recommend!
Dani Zocante
Dani Zocante
2024-03-23
We learned about this facility years ago, and try to do a session every week, both practitioners are fantastic!
ashley snider
ashley snider
2024-03-05
My first visit to this clinic was incredible. I found it to be educational, supportive and a step in the right direction for my health. Jamie was attentive and provided helpful information and recommendations. Already have a treatment plan underway and my next appointment booked! Highly recommend for anyone interested in acupuncture and what it has to offer.
Carrie Butler
Carrie Butler
2024-01-24
Jamie was amazing! He was so nice and very knowledgeable. It was my first time getting acupuncture and he explained each step and what to expect. I would definitely recommend him.
Ginny
Ginny
2023-12-30
Crystal was able to get me in quickly. Highly recommend.
Sarah Llerena
Sarah Llerena
2023-12-14
I recently had an incredible experience at this place, and I don't even know where to begin. I found myself in unbearable back pain, unable to stand up straight, and unsure of what caused it. Fortunately, I was able to schedule a prompt appointment, and Jamie's expertise was truly amazing! After receiving both cupping and acupuncture treatments, I noticed a remarkable improvement right away and within just two days, i was 95% back to my normal self. Don't hesitate to book an appointment here—it made a significant difference for me.
Thomas Najar
Thomas Najar
2023-11-20
Great service at a good price. Convenient location, knowledgable staff, clean and inviting clinic.
Tracy Carr
Tracy Carr
2023-11-10
This is the best place ever! I get cupping and acupuncture when my back starts acting up and leave feeling like 50 pounds was lifted off my back. Crystal and Jamie are very thorough in their questions to understand what’s going on and the treatment they provide. And the prices can’t be beat. 10/10
Liz Spanos
Liz Spanos
2023-11-10
I have been going to Lakewood Community Acupuncture for over a year and can’t imagine my life without it now!! It can truly help with so much - from physical pain (I have issues with my pelvic floor and multiple herniated discs) to emotional blocks, energy deficiencies and more! I ALWAYS feel better after acupuncture. I’ve seen all the practitioners and they are all extremely skilled, but Crystal is my go-to. She is not only very gentle and effective but always a delight to connect with. For the quality of service, atmosphere and price, you cannot do better. It’s been a game changer for me. Wholeheartedly recommend!!

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