Why You Need to Be Taping Movement, Not Muscles

Why You Need to Be Taping Movement, Not Muscles

Movement therapies have customarily focused on isolated muscles rather than motion for treatments. However, in reality, the body knows movement not muscles. Over the course of my 12-year career as a massage therapist and physical therapist, my thought processes have evolved, compelling my treatments to become more effective. For example, by placing more emphasis on the nervous system than the musculoskeletal system, I have learned we can create neurological opportunities for change through touch and movement; kinesiology tape can help lengthen the opportunity while also helping to guide movement. Movement therapies have customarily focused on isolated muscles rather than motion for treatment outcomes. However, in reality, the body knows movement not muscles. Knowledge of isolated muscle is necessary and yet it doesn’t reflect integrated movement, as tradition dictates muscles are named for the isolated, shortening action rather than the lengthening action. For example, the quadricep can extend the knee and often does, yet in upright function, the quadricep (along with tissue above and below) controls knee flexion and simultaneous frontal and transverse motions. The body controls and reacts to gravity, ground reaction forces, mass and momentum, and injury often occurs at the hypermobile region(s) when it is unable to. (For more information on this topic, see my book, REAL Movement: Perspective on Integrated Motion & Motor Control.) Prior to my introduction to the concept of taping movement, not muscles, kinesiology taping didn’t fit into my thought process or treatment paradigm. I couldn’t rationalize why I’d tape an individual muscle, let alone distal-proximal or proximal-distal to facilitate or inhibit it. Nonetheless, after my introduction to this new framework of taping...
Top Yoga injuries and how they can be treated or avoided with RockTape

Top Yoga injuries and how they can be treated or avoided with RockTape

Yoga is wildly popular all over the world and is a fast growing industry in the UK A 2012 Yoga Journal’s study showed that 20.4 million Americans practiced yoga, the study also found that 82% of yoga practitioners were female, 63% fell within the age range of 18-44, 45% of survey responders considered themselves to be beginners and 78% were looking for greater flexibility.[i] Like any sport or physical activity, however, people can get injured practicing yoga, too. While yoga is a decidedly safe activity for most practitioners, a 2009 study from the International Journal of Yoga Therapy conducted by the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons[ii] found that low back injuries were the most common, followed by shoulder, knee and neck injuries. Most of the riskier yoga poses also put a lot of stress on the hands and wrists. Of course, poor technique, previous injuries, excessive effort and improper or inadequate instruction and supervision were all cited as causes of injury, too. As with any activity, people like to jump to the cool-looking, advanced stuff too early, which is why it’s so important to have a good instructor who is really watching you and guiding you in a challenging, yet safe direction. Headstands and poses like sarvangasana and halasana can wreak havoc on your neck. Headstands put a lot of compression force into the discs in your neck. The other poses put a high demand on your ability to flex your neck while simultaneously putting a fair amount of your weight on your lower neck and upper thoracic spine. RockTape for the neck can help relieve some of...
Should you be Flossing daily? A beginner’s guide to RockFloss.

Should you be Flossing daily? A beginner’s guide to RockFloss.

Floss bands are not a new concept. They have been around for a while now under various names. In Australia, they have been mostly used as part of a warm up routine for gym workouts, particularly in the CrossFit world. But they can also be a useful tool in the clinic treating patients as another addition to your soft tissue treatment arsenal. If you want more information on how to use these bands in a simple way, read on! What can they be used for? Floss bands can be used in a number of different ways but in this blog we are going to focus on two of the most common applications: • Oedema management • Targeted soft tissue treatment Floss bands should generally be applied from distal (furthest down the limb) to proximal (higher up the limb). Wrapping in this direction will have less pressure on the valves that exist in the veins as the pressure imparted by the floss band will move the blood towards the heart, avoiding back-pressure on the venous valves. Various tensions can be used when wrapping the floss band, depending on the way you are trying to use the band. The Floss band is generally overlapped by approximately half its width as it is wrapped up the limb. Floss bands are generally left in place for 2-5 minutes, depending on the tolerance of the person, and should always be removed if any undue discomfort is felt. Oedema management For those clinicians and patients that find compression helpful in the management of oedema, floss bands can be wrapped at up to 50% tension over...
To Brace, or NOT to Brace? Overcoming Dysfunction with Kinesiology Tape vs. Prescribing Orthotics

To Brace, or NOT to Brace? Overcoming Dysfunction with Kinesiology Tape vs. Prescribing Orthotics

We have heard many questions pondered by physicians and healthcare professionals alike. When it comes to the foot there seems to be one that is always on everyone’s mind: To brace the foot, or to not brace the foot? The use of custom foot orthotics has been, and continues to be, a widely prescribed treatment for patients suffering from lower extremity pain as well as a preventative therapeutic intervention. In fact, there are some chiropractic programs who offer complimentary orthotics to all students to “try their product” – but is this a good idea? If I had a patient come to my office with low back pain, would my first intervention be to recommend a back brace? Would it be an intervention at all? I think the majority would say probably not. Why? Well, as chiropractic physicians, we would be assessing joint function, movement patterns, strength deficits determined to find the root of the problem rather than simply putting a band aid on the patients’ symptoms, i.e. low back brace. So why then, when our patients come in with foot pain, are we still overly prescribing foot orthotics? The foot and ankle contain 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments. Now if we aren’t assessing function here, and allowing assessment to guide our intervention, we have a problem. Our bodies were simply not designed to walk on man-made surfaces, nor utilize footwear that suffocates our feet, a concept often referred to as American foot binding. As a result of flat smooth services, cushioned heels and motion control shoes, we have lost the integrity of...
World’s Strongest Man

World’s Strongest Man

Keith Gladstone is an osteopath and sport scientist. He is consultant osteopath to the England Rugby team and his company Athletic Health Ltd supply the medical team at the Worlds strongest man competition each year. Here is a short blog of his experiences at this years competition: For many, Christmas and new years are synonymous with three things; Presents, Turkey and the worlds strongest man competition being aired on TV. Each year, 30 of the strongest men on the planet gather in an exotic location, in the ultimate battle of strength. Its the World Cup or the Olympic final of Strength Sport, and one man a year walks away with the title of “The Worlds Strongest Man”. The competition takes place over 2 weeks and is actually filmed in April/May and then aired at various times throughout the year across the world. The competition comprises multiple events which test not only strength and power but also stamina, skill, strategy and fitness. The 30 athletes are split into 5 heats of 6 people. Each heat compete over 6 events in 4 days and the top 2 athletes from each event then progress onto the final. The athletes don’t know what events they will be competing in until about 2 weeks before the competition so they are not able to prep too specifically. There are some events that are always present…the atlas stones, a vehicle pull, a carry and load event, but the specifics are only identified very close to the event. This means the athletes have to prepare for everything and can’t specialise in one particular lift or event. This...
RockTape Research Review 2018

RockTape Research Review 2018

The popularity of kinesiology tape, or coloured sports tape, increased dramatically following the 2008 Olympics and has remained popular amongst athletes participating in many different sports including, running, cycling and crossfit. More recently the tape has become increasingly popular as a treatment adjunct for more sedentary patients attending musculoskeletal clinics for the treatment of common ‘aches and pains’ Tape is also proving beneficial for patients suffering from neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis and parkinsons disease as some specific examples. The debate about the clinical efficacy of kinesiology tape is continuing but has somewhat simmered down since we first started teaching. Having said this there are some practitioners who cling to out-dated theories about the purported benefits of kinesiology tape, despite many of these theories having very little evidence behind them. As an example – Tape (probably) does not cause a direct increase blood flow from simply applying it to the skin. This is one of the early claims of Kinesiology Taping which has not been supported by any evidence. At Rocktape we are committed to furthering the body of scientific knowledge of the effects of kinesiology tape and demonstrating scientifically the positive benefits that we see clinically every day. We are actively supporting many studies that are currently being completed around the world, and we promote “evidence –informed” education in our courses worldwide. We liaise with a number of researchers around the UK and further afield to keep abreast of the latest research, even before its gets published. If you are involved with or aware of any research please let us know. Research evidence The literature...

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