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KT Taping:

The ESSMC staff is skilled at using KT tape as an adjunctive intervention to compliment manual therapy, modalities and therapeutic exercise.

Kinesiology tape, or KT, was developed in 1996 by Dr. Kenzo Kase. It claims to produce its benefits by microscopically lifting the skin off of the underlying muscles which will help to increase blood flow and decrease pressure and irritation. The benefits of KT include proprioceptive facilitation, muscle facilitation, reduced muscle fatigue and soreness, pain inhibition and enhanced healing. Proprioception is the knowledge of where the body is in space. Healing is defined in this case by reducing the amount of swelling and improving blood flow. According to the current research, KT has been shown to provide short term pain relief, increase blood flow, increase the motion at the taped joint, and improve muscle activity. However, it has not been shown to give proprioceptive benefits.

KT can be used all over the body. Common areas for application are the shoulder, elbow, knee and ankle, but can also be applied on the back, neck, wrist and more. The tape is flexible and moves well with the skin so it can be worn for up to three days. Kinesiology tape can be purchased for commercial use, but is most effective when applied by a professional.

References:

  • Mueller Sports Medicine. Kinesiology taping techniques. Mueller. http://www.muellerrx.com/. Published 2010. Accessed July 7, 2011.
  • Bassett K. The use and treatment efficacy of kinaesthetic taping for musculoskeletal conditions: a systematic review. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy [serial online]. n.d.;38(2)Available from: ProQuest: ProQuest Central (SRU), Ipswich, MA. Accessed July 24, 2011.
  • Thelen M, Stoneman P, Dauber J. The clinical efficacy of kinesio tape for shoulder pain: a randomized, double-blinded, clinical trail. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2008;38(7):389-395
  • Murray H, Husk L. The effects of kinesio taping on proprioception in the ankle and in the knee. J Orthop Sports PhysTher. 2001: 31(1).
  • Halseth T, McChesney K, DeBeliso M, Vaughn R, Lien J. The effects of Kinesio taping on proprioception at the ankle. J Sport Sci Med. 2004; 3: 1-7.
  • Gonzalez-Iglesias J, et al. Short-term effects of cervical kinesio taping on pain and cervical range of motion in patients with acute whiplash injury: A randomized clinical trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 2009; 39:515-521.

Balance and Fall Prevention:

Are you worried about falling? Have you fallen in the past? Every year, one in three adults age 65 and older falls.  Falls are responsible for 95% of hip fractures, as well as other moderate to severe injuries.

How can a physical therapist help reduce your risk for falls?  Physical therapists can conduct an evaluation to determine if you are at risk for falls.  This evaluation includes a review of your medical history, a review of your medications, a home safety assessment, feet and footwear assessment, a gait assessment, leg strength tests, and a balance assessment.  Based on the results of your evaluation, your physical therapist can design an individualized exercise program focused on improving your balance and strength in order to reduce your risk for falls.  Furthermore, your physical therapist can also help you to make your home a safe environment and educate you about the medical risk factors associated with falls.

What can you do to decrease your risk for falls? Remain active.  Regular exercise and activity, such as walking, aquatic exercise, or tai chi, can improve your strength, balance, coordination and flexibility, all of which can reduce your risk of falls.  Review your medications with your doctor or a pharmacist to determine if there are any side effects or interactions that may increase your risk of falling.  Get regular vision checks.  Vision problems such as cataracts, macular degeneration and wearing bifocals, can greatly increase your risk for falls.

Falls among older adults continue to be a growing concern. If you feel you or someone you love is at risk for falls, take action and contact your doctor for a referral to ESSMC physical therapy today.


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