Kinesio Taping Workshop
February 27, 2017
In February, Hayes Hand Center hosted a 2 day Kinesio taping seminar to learn how to “keep our hands on the patient” long after they have left the clinic so that the gains they make in therapy are maintained for a longer period of time between visits. The Kinesio Taping method is used to treat patients with:
- Muscle imbalance
- Circulatory and lymphatic conditions
- Ligament, tendon and joint injuries
- Fascial adhesions and scars
- Pathological movement patterns
- Neurological conditions
- Postural imbalance
Once applied, the tape can be worn for 3-5 days and is latex free.
Because we specifically treat hand and upper extremity patients, we were especially interested in how this approach might look in treating our patient population. Because this taping method affects skin, fascia, circulatory/lymphatic systems, muscles, and joints it can address commonly seen hand problems such as pain, swelling, muscle tightness, range of motion and even strength. The amount of tension applied to the tape as well as the direction of application of the tape will determine if we are targeting facilitation or inhibition of a muscle. For example, a patient with a complaint of lateral elbow pain (commonly referred to as tennis elbow) can be taped to inhibit muscle tension in the forearm and relieve the pain in the elbow (see picture 1). A lattice formation of tape on a swollen hand or arm can increase the removal of fluid from the area (see pictures 2 and 3).
Taping is only part of a complete screening and assessment of the patient. If taping is indicated as a part of the overall treatment plan, the patient will be encouraged to wear the tape until it starts coming off in 3-5 days or earlier if they notice an increase in symptoms or discomfort related to wearing the tape. Once they come back to the clinic, we will reassess to see what impact the taping as well as the overall treatment has had on the problem we are treating. On average, a patient would be taped 4-5 times during a course of treatment, depending on their individual needs, until the patient is able to maintain on their own.
Taping, by itself is not a cure-all. However, it is always nice to have plenty of tools in our tool box to address problems in the clinic as they arise. By continuing the treatment beyond the walls of the clinic, our hope is that we can rehab our patients better, faster and with less pain and discomfort. Now that’s what I call a Win-Win!
Picture 1: taping for tennis elbow
Picture 2: taping for edema (swelling) of the arm
Picture 3: taping for edema (swelling) of the hand
Jennifer Durham, M.Ed, OTR/L,CHT
Jennifer joined Hayes Hand Center in 1992 and is the Clinical Coordinator at Hayes Hand Center Hand Therapy Department