This month we welcome Riccardo Vacccaro, co-owner of PhysioPRO, to the world of blogging.
Riccardo Vaccaro received a BscPhysiotherapy (with Honours) from Wits University in 2007. He has always had a keen interest in sports medicine and rehabilitation.
Riccardo is a Fully Accredited Sports Physiotherapist registered with the South African Sports Medicine Association (SASMA). He is also a member of the Sports interest group of The South African Society of Physiotherapy (SASP).
Recently there has been a lot of interest shown in Elastic Adhesive Taping (EAT) as this multi-coloured tape has become a common sight in the sporting population. You only have to look as far as our National Rugby team to see how this tape has changed the taping world.
At our practice, patients are often amazed with the results they achieve using this tape. It is used to reduce pain, decrease inflammation and allow improved function.
It was created with the intention of “getting therapy between therapy sessions”. So let’s look at how and why it works.
There are currently many brands of this tape on the market and according to the brand, it may be referred to by different names, for example Kinesio tape, Kinesiology tape or K-tape etc.
Whatever the brand, they all work on the same basic principles, however not all tapes were created equally and there are differences in the adhesive properties of the different brands. What about the different colours you ask? Well apparently this was done as colour therapy for patients, so for example blue should be used to try “calm down” tense patients. In my opinion, that’s about as usefull as wearing a hologram around your wrist to improve balance…but let’s leave that topic for another day.
So why does it work? Well, think of when you bump your head/knee/elbow or any other body part. What is your first instinctive reaction? After shouting ouch, you will most likely rub the area with your hand to help relieve the pain. This is because you are stimulating the skins mechano-receptors (which respond to touch) to send signals to the brain and in so doing, you close the “gate” on pain signals being sent.
This effect is known as The Pain Gate Mechanism and by applying tape over the skin, we are able to stimulate these mechano-receptors over a prolonged period thus reducing the body’s’ perception of pain.
Through this sensory stimulation, we are also able to effectively “switch” a muscle “on or off” depending on the direction of pull applied to the tape, and because the tape is applied over a prolonged time (3-5 days), this pull can be used loosen scar tissue.
It doesn’t end there though, because one of the other most valuable effects of this tape is the increase in lymph drainage, which is achieved through the tape microscopically lifting the skin, allowing fluid to flow easier and thus reducing inflammation.
I never get tired of seeing the expression on my patients’ faces when they see how a massive bruise is almost completely gone in 3-5 days after application of this tape.
As great as this tape may sound, it is really only as effective as the practitioner applying it. To get the best out of the tape, the practitioner has to assess each patient’s condition and then apply the appropriate taping technique, specific to the symptoms and cause thereof.
As with all great products, many companies are jumping on the band wagon, so please be wary of “do-it-yourself” taping, as you will probably be disappointed with the results and shocked at the price!
At PhysioPRO, our Physiotherapists are trained in the Kinesio Taping® Method and for more information on this subject please visit www.kinesiotapingafrica.co.za and click on the FAQ’s section.
“The new age sportsman or woman deserves a dynamic physiotherapist. Gone are the days of sticking someone on a machine for thirty minutes and massaging them for ten minutes. At PhysioPRO we pride ourselves on keeping up-to-date with current trends in Sports Medicine, to give you the patient, the best results possible.”
General Health/Fitness, Lower Limb injuries, Upper Limb injuries