Sunday afternoon of the AFC Championship game, the famous Patriots QB Tom Brady wore KT Tape on his suddenly infamous thumb. With the tape, Brady threw 290 yards and two touchdowns while leading his team on a 10 point 4th quarter comeback for his record 8th Super Bowl appearance. Was the tape the reason for the positive outcome? What is this tape and what does it do? Can it help you too (with an injury, not to play in the NFL)?
KT Tape stands for kinesiology therapeutic tape. It is a strong, elastic tape that reduces pain, increases mobility and supports muscles and joints without restricting movements. Brady was able to wear the tape to protect the stitches in his hand while maintaining full motion and grip in his thumb. But it’s not just for professional athletes.
What makes kinesiology tape unique from traditional white sport tape is the ability to stretch. It will support without hindering movement. It is also designed to be waterproof and it can be kept on for up to 4-5 days. Because it is waterproof, it can get wet while bathing or swimming and still be effective.
In Physical Therapy, we use kinesiology tape as part of the overall plan of care. Kinesiology tape is applied by a physical therapist along the muscle, ligaments, tendons or soft tissue to provide a lightweight, strong, and external support. It can work differently for different injuries and different applications. Depending on how it is applied by your physical therapist, it can support, enable or restrict the soft tissue.
Below are the answers to a few questions you may have about the tape:
Who can use kinesiology tape?
-Athletes -Adults -Pregnant Women -Children -Animals
What are the benefits of kinesiology tape?
-Pain relief -Prevent spasm -Heal Bruises -Reduce swelling -Support injured muscles and joints
What conditions can be treated with kinesiology tape?
-Sprains and strains -Bruises -Arthritis -Bursitis -Swelling -Sports injury
-Back and neck injury -Tendonitis -Muscle weakness -Muscle imbalance -Edema -Tendonitis
Kinesiology tape can help with many conditions. If you have an injury or pain, kinesiology tape may be able to help you. After an evaluation by a physical therapist at Dedham Health Physical Therapy, kinesiology tape can become part of your rehab plan. For more information about programs and services at Dedham Health Physical Therapy, call 781-326-8332.
-Stephanie Schwartz, MSPT, CSCS
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterized by chronic widespread pain and heightened sensitivity to pain and pressure. Fibromyalgia affects 2-8% of the population, impacting females twice as often as males. With this disease, the pain threshold is seriously diminished, meaning it takes less of a stimulus to cause a pain response in these individuals. Fatigue, depression, difficulty sleeping, and memory issues have also been reported as symptoms of Fibromyalgia.
How Can We Help?!
- Research has shown that consistent exercise, proper eating habits, and sleep are the best treatments for Fibromyalgia.
- While the individual with this condition may fatigue quicker with exercise, it is imperative to maintain a consistent workout schedule.
- Exercise releases positive endorphins in the body, so it has been proven to improve sleep and decrease pain in some individuals with Fibromyalgia.
Even better, aquatic therapy has shown to be the most beneficial form of exercise. Why?
- The pressure and sensation of the water on the skin helps reduce nerve sensitivity and allows for freedom of movement.
- Aquatic exercise has significant cardiovascular and strength training benefits, both of which have been proven to be critical for this population.
For more information on therapy programs at Dedham Health, visit our website. You can also call us at 781-326-8332.
-Meghan J., Physical Therapist at Dedham Health
You don’t have to be a runner to need to pay attention to those feet. Regular ankle and foot strengthening and stretching exercises can ward off painful conditions like ankle sprains and plantar fasciitis.
Here are a few:
- Heel walk for 30 seconds
- Toe walk for 30 seconds
- Toe spreads, wrap a thick rubber band around your toes and try to spread your toes apart 10 times
- Calf raises off the edge of a step
- Pick up squeeze marbles with your toes for 20 seconds 10 times
- Scrunch a towel beneath your bare feet 10 times
- Stand on one foot and balance for 20 seconds twice
- Try standing on one foot and bend over and touch the floor in front of your toes 10 times
These exercises are easy to perform while you are resting between sets of your regular weight training. If you do develop plantar fasciitis, see these helpful tips below for treatment.
Plantar Fasciitis is characterized by nagging heel pain, usually worse first thing in the morning and improves as the day progresses. Here are a few things you can try in order to alleviate your discomfort:
Golf ball rolling: sit in a chair and roll your heel over a golf ball, or a frozen water bottle
Achilles stretches: stand on a step, and drop your affected heel off the edge of the step to stretch the Achilles tendon and calf muscles
Towel stretch: before getting out of bed in the morning, grab a towel and wrap it around the ball of your foot. Gently tug on the towel to stretch the calf muscles prior to walking around
Untuck your sheets at night: This may prevent your Achilles from shortening while you sleep
Night Fighter or Strasberg sock: These are boots/socks to sleep with at night that maintains your ankle in a flexed/stretched position
-Margie L., Director of Physical Therapy at Dedham Health
It’s 2018! Another new year, another wave of the best resolutions and the changing of habits. To many, the new year means a fresh start, but why should we wait until the drop of the ball to make these commitments that will only better us? While it helps us to have a clean slate, we should all be paying attention to creating healthy habits throughout the year. Check out these easy tips to help support a healthier you:
- Hydrate– Get a water bottle and bring it with you EVERYWHERE. Start to track how much you’re drinking. A good guide is your body weight/2, and this is how much water you should be drinking in ounces. If you’re working out, especially at a higher intensity, this number will change. Try to focus on drinking every hour, and this will help you get your daily water requirements.
- Exercise– Get yourself in a routine. I know it is hard, but if you just commit to the same days and time each week, it becomes a lot easier. If you know that you’re a procrastinator, make yourself get up and workout in the morning. That way you won’t have an excuse of being too tired at the end of the work day. If you feel that you have more energy in the afternoon/night, take the extra hour to sleep in the morning. You know yourself best, but just pick the days and times and stick to it!
- Healthy Eating– Pay attention to your food labels. Try to avoid foods with added sugar. Naturally occurring sugar is okay, but avoid the additives! Also add fruits and vegetables to your daily routine. Increase the frequency that you eat these things; try to have a vegetable at all 3 meals, or even as a healthy mid-day snack!
-Meghan J., Physical Therapist at Dedham Health