Author: Alexandru Lefter, PT
The kinesiology tape has become over the years a "therapeutic enhancement" and a close companion to sport performance and not only. Given a professional application, based on solid knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics, this technique becomes mandatory in the "props" of any performance or amateur athlete. One of the biggest benefits of this type of therapy is the ease with which the tapes can be applied, the main problems with which both the therapist and the patient/athlete can meet, are related to the environmental conditions (e.g. high humidity environment: the locker room – in the proximity of the showers or near a swimming pool, etc). The inventors, along with major manufacturers of kinesiology tape recommend to produce heat by rubbing the strips of tape with the palm of the hand, in the process of applying the tapes, the adhesive is being heat-activated. Though, often, because of the factors listed above, the time how long the taping can stick to the tegument will drop dramatically, even up to 30% of the initially estimated time, so the heat produced by friction many times becomes insufficient to ensure the desired results.
Over a period of 4 years there were performed KT applications on approximately 120 patients/athletes with various physical activity levels, of which 40 were selected according to a criteria of high physical activity. In this process there have been used 6 different brands of KT, with provenience of Korea, USA, Germany and Japan. Also, the entire color range from each manufacturer was used (cream, green, blue, black, red, yellow, pink), mentioning that there was observed no difference in elasticity for different tape colours produced by the same manufacturer. Though, there were noticed significant differences in elasticity and tension of tapes from brand to brand.
The objective of the study is to maximize the length of time of wearing/using the KT through improved resistance to internal and external factors, such as sudden movements, perspiration, sebum, dust or interacting with tight clothes.
The objective was achieved by using an external heat source. The external heat source is represented by an infrared lamp of paramedical and domestic use. The lamp produces enough heat to affect the adhesive (melt), easily making it to fill the porous spaces. By heating the tape’s adhesive there was observed a significant increase in adherence of the tapes in all tested environmental conditions and internal or external factors.
THIS METHOD IN MAINLY RECOMMENDED FOR SPORTS USE! PLEASE AVOID APPLICATIONS ON DAMAGED OR DEHYDRATED SKIN!
In 100% of those 40 selected participants noted an improvement of the adherence of up to ~ 70% (measured in MU "time" with a minimum of more than 50%) by the application of heat on the areas where the kinesiology tape was attached. The results are considered as being statistically significant, therefore the method is validated.
After 4 years of testing and retesting of "Kinesio Tape" techniques (original name) in different European countries and multiple environments and sports (footbal/soccer, basketball, volleyball, handball, kick-boxing), it was discovered that by applying an external heat source over the kinesiology tapings, these can get an improved grip, leading to an enhanced duration of an application, incomparable with the situations in which there was no external source of heat used.
Author: Alexandru Lefter, physical therapist;
Supervisors: Roxana Damian, Dragos Spataru, Florian Mastacan;
Locations: Denmark, England, Serbia, Iasi - Romania (currently);
Sample: ~ 40 pers.
No. of types of tape by manufacturer: 6