What is the difference between Kinesio®tape and athletic tape?

Cueing vs stability
Kinesio® tape is stretchy compared to athletic and Leukotape®. Each are great and beneficial, but for very different purposes.

The stretchy quality of Kinesio® tape provides cues for better joint alignment and position, muscle activation, and posture. As your body moves into these positions, the tape will stretch, giving you a cue to reduce the tension of the tape and return to the better posture and alignment. The stretch of the tape can also be used to help lift the skin, allowing more blood flow. It has been shown to help reduce swelling and help with soft tissue healing.

Other kinds of more traditional tape are used for stabilization. Because of its less stretchy nature, athletic tape will prevent movement into poor positions all together, not allowing you to move out of a certain alignment.

How do you know if Kinesio® tape or athletic tape would be best for you?

Kinesio® tape to help prevent elbow hyperextension

Leukotape® to keep the arch lifted and prevent twisting the ankle

The best way to know would be to see a physical therapist to assess what is happening with your posture or joint alignment. We are trained in the different techniques, patterns, and ways to cut and apply the tape to provide the best benefit and proper purpose of the tape.

For a quick answer though, if you are looking for more stability like a temporary brace, then athletic or Leukotape® are best. If you are trying to retrain yourself to use the right muscles and maintain a certain posture or alignment, then Kinesio® tape is best.

 

 

We recommend seeing a physical therapist for the other more medical applications of Kinesio® tape such as to reduce swelling or increase blood flow to an injured area for healing.

A physical therapist at Good Health Physical Therapy & Wellness is always happy to provide more information or assess your needs to reduce or prevent pain and injury

Oregon is a direct access state for physical therapy. What does this mean for you?

Many people think that you need a doctor’s referral to get specialized care. People often see their primary care physician first for any ailment, and your doctor directs you to the right specialist for further investigation and diagnosis. Recently, with rising healthcare costs and a change in physical therapy training, many states now allow direct access. This means if you have a condition involving your muscles or joints you have the right to see a physical therapist (a musculoskeletal specialist) without a referral from your doctor. This can depend on your insurance policy, however. While this is not a federal law, several states have some version of direct access. Oregon is one of them!

 

According to a 2016 article in the American Physical Therapy Association’s magazine, PT in Motion, Oregon is one of several states that provide unrestricted direct access. A study done by the American Physical Therapy Association has shown the same quality of care, no adverse events and lower cost for patients who saw a physical therapist through direct access compared to those who went to a primary care provider first.

 

Physical therapists are trained to rule in and rule out red flag signs and symptoms. If we are in doubt about a diagnosis, then we refer you back to a medical doctor to receive the appropriate care. More often, though, people see their doctor for a muscle or joint condition and are then referred to a physical therapist. Direct access allows you to skip a step, make one less appointment, save money, and go directly to the person who can treat your symptoms. You wouldn’t go to a physical therapist first for a sore throat, and you shouldn’t go to your primary care provider first for a pulled muscle.

 

So, if you think you have a musculoskeletal injury, see your physical therapist first! Start by calling our office (503)292-5882 and our helpful staff will get you an appointment. They can check your insurance company’s requirements/coverage or explain more about our reasonable cash pay rates.

 

Chie Tadaki, PT, DPT