Kinesio USA, Albuquerque, NM, was responsible for bringing Kinesio Taping® to American shores in 1998. Developed nearly 25 years ago in Japan, the proprietary method uses a patented tape for treatment of muscular disorders and lymphedema reduction. Kinesio Taping is used for patients ranging from athletes to pregnant women and can be applied by PTs, ATCs, OTs, DCs, MTs, and MDs. Rehab Management recently had the opportunity to ask John J. Jarvis, director of Kinesio USA, about the technique and growth of Kinesio Taping in the ever-evolving rehabilitation marketplace.
Q: How is Kinesio Tex Tape different from other tapes on the market?
A: The tape properties are different. There is no latex in the tape. That makes it as hypoallergenic as possible. The therapist can apply the tape directly onto the skin, without any prewrap, while leaving the tape on for several days per application. Elastic properties also make it unique: the tape has a unilateral stretch, allowing it to aid in the facilitation of muscles and joints, and also giving the patient or athlete the support they require-—even when exposed to water. The application process is by far the most important element to its effectiveness.
Q: Why is the taping technique so effective?
A: The technique is what gives the application process its "pop." For the first time, we are using tape to not only support, but to correct muscle function, reduce pain, reposition subluxed joints, and improve the circulation of lymph.
Q: Three taping techniques (white athletic taping, McConnell Taping Technique, and Kinesio Taping Method) are recognized in the United States. Which patients are good candidates for the Kinesio technique?
A: There is not a patient who couldn't benefit from the technique. Our largest markets for use would be our PT and OT population, and within this population the candidates range from acute to chronic and orthopedic to neurological conditions.
Q: Why has Kinesio Taping become more popular in the mainstream in recent years?
A: The use and the acceptance within the professional sports community have played a positive role in getting the word out about Kinesio Taping. It is hard to watch a game or event without seeing the tape on an athlete. Kinesio USA has set up programs and training with USOC, MLB, NFL, NBA, professional cycling teams, as well as countless individual professional athletes.
Q: What trends do you see affecting the future of your company?
A: The biggest trend we see affecting the growth of the Kinesio Taping Method is the acceptance of the technique. I am not sure how many times I have heard, "I'm not a taper." It is more than just tape, it's an effective, easy-to-use modality that does what it says, improving ROM, providing joint support, improving lymphatic flow, and alleviating pain.