MUSCLE & JOINT HEALTH
Our muscles can easily become stressed or over worked and either suffer weakness and a lack of reactivity, or chronic tension and inability to relax. This can give rise to pain or structural issues and disrupt the optimal function of muscles and joints.
As muscles work in conjunction with others, weakness or tension in one muscle can cause others to over-compensate or to become stressed. Muscle testing can be very accurate in finding the specific problem, as it is possible to isolate individual muscles, where many forms of massage would treat the joint in general.
Identifying and treating the specific problem or muscle can provide an quick and effective solution, thereby increasing your performance and relieving persistent issues.
Systematic kinesiology helps resolve issues in the muscular system by stimulating blood supply and lymph flow, as well as unlocking chronically stressed muscles.
You will no doubt be familiar with the sight of world class athletes wearing colourful patterns of tape across their muscles. Kinesiology tape is now an accepted part of international sporting events like the Olympics.
Taping can be a way to accelerate healing in injured muscles and sprains. It is recognised by the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy and widely used by sports therapists. It can also be used in other conditions.
Kinesiology Cambridge offers short sessions to assess the muscles that need support and to apply the tape correctly. During that session, I can show you how to apply the tape yourself, although it may be worth coming back to test the relevant muscles to check their improvement. Kinesiology testing can identify issues in individual muscles and their function.
HOW IT WORKS
Muscles and other body tissues need a good supply of oxygen and nutrients in order to function optimally and to heal when damaged. They also need the waste products of metabolism to be taken away by the vascular or lymphatic systems.
Traditional taping methods are designed to support joints and muscles, but can impede circulation in the area by restricting movement and flexibility.
Kinesiology tape is designed to support the area, improve movement and the position of the joint, while allowing healthy circulation. The result is relaxed muscles and a more effective healing process.
The tape is very similar to human skin in elasticity and thickness. It is elastic cotton (latex free) with an acrylic adhesive.
A bit of history
Kinesiology tape has been around since 1979, when Kenzo Kase, a Japanese chiropractor and acupuncturist designed the system to stimulate circulation to an injured area.
There have been many small studies of kinesiology tape, which have given various results.
One study, using tape applied in 3 ways – to increase muscle strength, to inhibit muscles and incorrectly applied as a placebo – showed no difference in muscle strength in healthy volunteers.
However, others have found a clinical benefit in specific circumstances. There are many reports of significant and fast pain reduction in a clinical setting.
In 2012, an article in Frontline, the magazine of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, stated
“Scientifically proven or not, the therapy appears to have qualified support from many physios. Those approached by Frontline are in general agreement that the tape appears – anecdotally at least – to benefit patients.”
While more studies need to be done, kinesiology tape seems to be useful where there has been some damage. It would follow that any athlete who trains regularly could speed up the recovery time of tired muscle, enabling them to train more effectively in subsequent sessions.
In the case of injured muscles or joints, care should always be taken to make sure that the area has healed properly before attempting to compete or re-start strenuous training. Please don’t do yourself any more harm by being over-eager to get back to the sport you love!