Equine Kinesio Taping
After extensive research, the Kinesio Taping Method was developed by Kenzo Kase DC in 1979. Dr Kase was looking for a method of prevention and injury treatment that continued long after the client left the office. Kinesio tape is an elastic therapeutic tape that mimics human skin. Therefore it does not bind or restrict movement. It is latex free and is meant to be worn for 3-5 days at a time. In addition, it can withstand swimming, showering and fierce competition. Kinesio tape is being used by top athletes in the Olympic games, Tour de France, Kentucky Derby, Pro Soccer, Football and Tennis etc. to enhance performance and protect from muscle injury and fatigue.
Depending on how the tape is applied it can affect skin, circulation, lymphatics, fascia, muscles and joints. It can be used post operative and in the acute, chronic or rehabilitative phase of therapy. Basically it treats the body from the outside in for not only injury but also prevention. After an assessment by the KT practitioner, the tape is applied according to its principles. KT can:
- Create space to increase movement, blood flow and circulation of lymph Reduce swelling and alleviate pain
- Provide tactile cue for posture and proper use of the body.
- Increase range of motion and normalize muscle length and tension Assist in tissue recovery and reduce fatigue. Improve joint biomechanics.
- Facilitate tendon and ligament function, re-educate muscles .
- Re-align fascia and fascial meridians. For instance, KT can improve muscle contraction in a weak or atrophied muscle or it can stimulate relaxation in over contracted muscles. It all depends on how the tape is applied.
The list of structures helped by KT is enormous. Basically, you name a body part, muscle, tendon, ligament or joint and KT can help it. And, although new to the horse arena, Equine Kinesio Taping is becoming quite popular and proven effective on horses too.