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Incorporating Kinesiology Tape into Your Practice

By Karena Wu, PT and Clinical Director, ActiveCare Physical Therapy; Director of Education, SpiderTech
Incorporating Kinesiology Tape

As a manual therapist, we fix our patients with our hands. I am trained in Maitland Australian Physiotherapy assessment which means we are constantly assessing our patients. We look for the dysfunctional functional painful movement or ‘comparable sign’. We figure out how to restore this function in order for you to normalize movement patterns and return to your daily activities with less pain and compensation.

The body is amazing at adapting to things, both good and bad but when it adapts to the bad, it can get stuck there. It is only natural to correct for pain and imbalance by addressing joints and soft tissues and mobilizing these to restore movement. We poke and prod and recreate your pain in order to actually eliminate it. That’s why they joke that coming to PT can be ‘pain and torture’. We are specialists in finding your pain, reproducing it but then taking it away for the long term.

Kinesiology Tape

Kinesiology tape is another adjunct that helps us down this path. After we restore better movement patterns, it makes sense to try to keep them there so that the body can remember what it was like to move in a pain-free functional way. Adding kinesiology tape to the system after you have received the manual corrective techniques helps to further reduce the body’s perception of pain. This means that the neurological system can have better output and better motor patterns. It’s why when you put on the tape, you can feel stronger and more supported immediately as well as have better ranges of motion during movement.

The best time to use kinesiology tape would be after the manual treatment and right before the exercise starts. An exercise prescription is a prescription of movements that are chosen to help facilitate this new and improved state. Typically, therapeutic exercises are done under supervision so that the patient can relearn normal movement patterns and reduce compensations. Using the tape will only enhance this part of your therapy. You make the patient feel better, they think your fingers and the tape are magic and you get to be called the best practitioner because you have helped your patient recover from injury.

To learn how kinesiology tape can be right for you or for your practice, call ActiveCare Physical Therapy at (212) 777-4374 or visit

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