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Maybe you have seen colored tapes/strips on your favorite athlete’s body, and you are wondering what it is called and what it is for. If that is so, stick around to learn about it and how it helps to relieve pain from knee osteoarthritis.

What is Kinesiology Tape and How Does it Work?

“The idea behind kinesiology taping is to facilitate the body’s healing process while supporting and stabilizing muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion,” quoted from Grace Hsiao-Wei Lo, MD , a rheumatologist based in Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.

In the 1970s, Dr. Kenzo Kase, a Japanese chiropractor, created the kinesiology tape (KT). He wanted to create a tape that will allow movement and support the affected area at the same time. This feature is what differentiates kinesiology  tape from the standard athletic tapes.

The kinesiology tape has a combination of cotton and nylon. The design was specifically made to be akin to the skin’s elasticity so that the user can move freely while being supported at the same time, especially in the affected area. It is also water-resistant, making it durable for three to five days. It does not tear out while at work or while taking a bath.

This tape provides support for both muscles and soft tissues surrounding the affected joints, such as knees, by helping in the “light stabilization and additional sensory feedback for neuromuscular retraining,” according to occupational therapist Carole Dodge, OTRL, a certified hand therapist from the University of Michigan.

If you suffer from any of these: patellofemoral stress syndrome, iliotibial (IT) band friction syndrome, or achilles tendonitis – KT tape might help you!

Kinesiology tape also helps in enhancing the movement and endurance of an athlete with regard to the affected areas. This tape also helps retrain muscles that may have lost function or gotten weak.

Always get in touch with a physical therapist who is highly qualified to apply the kinesiology tape correctly.  Check with our physiotherapists now.

The physical therapist will provide you with the correct instruction on how to use the tape in a certain pattern to help you with a specific musculoskeletal issue, such as knee osteoarthritis. The tape can be placed in a pattern of X, Y, I, or fan, depending on the injury or goal that you and your physiotherapist have.

Before you try putting the KT tape onto yourself at home, your physical therapist can supervise you while practicing its application and removal.

Why is an alternative nonpharmacological treatment necessary for knee osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis mostly affects older people. This age group starting from 55 years are usually the candidates for knee osteoarthritis treatment.

The treatment for knee osteoarthritis commonly includes both the use of medication and nonpharmacological therapy. The term ‘nonpharmacological’ means the treatment does not involve drugs – an example is a physiotherapy.

Now, why would you look for alternative treatment when you have medications in place to relieve the knee osteoarthritis pain? Well, allow us to share the following reasons:

  • Nonpharmacological treatments are easy to carry out, reasonably priced, and have relatively fewer minor side effects.
  • Nonpharmacological treatment may delay the progression of treatment to knee surgery.

Kinesiology Tape is Used to Help in Pain Management of Knee Osteoarthritis

KT is one of the nonpharmacological treatments that could be used in knee osteoarthritis. It has been extensively studied by researchers as a possible medical and rehabilitation tool. In fact, it can reduce the pain intensity caused by knee osteoarthritis – and pain relief could last for a month after taping!

However, there is a chance that kinesiology tape may cause skin reactions or irritations. But worry not, because based on a study,  skin reactions or irritation from KT use did not require any treatment or discontinuation of taping.

Still have some questions in mind? In MN Physiotherapy Clinic, we are open seven days a week to answer any questions you have pertaining to kinesiology tape.