What is Kinesiology Taping?
Kinesiology Taping was developed by a chiropractor called Dr. Kase who wanted to continue therapeutic benefits on his patients in-between clinical visits. The tape can be used to mimic how you would treat the horse with manual therapy and it is useful for a number of conditions:
Muscle Tension- K tape is used to inhibit a muscle that is in spasm or to help facilitate a muscle that is weak and not working properly.
Fluid drainage and circulatory conditions
Proprioception and poor posture
Support for tendons and ligaments
Improving pathological movement patterns
Facial adhesions and scars.
As pain relief for all the above conditions
K Taping is popular in human sports medicine and there were lots of examples of human athletes wearing it at the last Olympics! The tape is applied in specific locations depending on the muscle or tissue you are trying to effect. It stays on for 2-3 days and will have a beneficial effect during this time.
How will taping be used on my performance horse?
The preferred use of K Taping at Wetreins Equine is to treat the horse with manual therapy at the first assessment- usually chiropractic and myofacial release. When the horse is reassessed then depending on the response to treatment KTape may be an option to work on problematic areas. Each case must be assessed on an individual basis. If the horse has very tight muscles then taping can be applied to help reduce muscle strain. If the horse has poor posture then it can be applied to help proprioceptive awareness and to activate weak muscles (such as the abdominal muscles). If the horse has a diagnosis of a joint problem then K Tape can be applied to support the joint and reduce pain. If taping is having a beneficial effect then owners can be taught to apply tape themselves to continue treatment in-between visits.
When can taping be of benefit in a veterinary setting?
Any Lameness, injury or pathological condition must be assessed by your veterinary surgeon before K Taping can be considered. Conventional treatment is applied first and then K Taping could be used in certain situations to reduce symptoms and speed up the recovery process. For example following surgery, a wound or where there is a lot of swelling then K taping can be very useful to reduce swelling. Tendon and ligament injuries can be supported with K Tape (once the initial bandage has been removed).
The picture on the right shows an example of K tape applied to aid drainage (on left) and to support the achilles tendon (on right).