Kinesiology taping has been used by therapists for over thirty years, thanks to its more recent exposure in the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games as well as Crossfit and many other sports, it is has gained tremendous popularity. Since 2012, kinesiology tape has had a massive revival thanks to the huge number of patterns and colors produced by Rocktape as well as the visible sponsorship by key athletes. More recently FMT applications have been developed for tactical use in the military and with active training and shooting. One of the primary goals in FMT is to foster proper movement in people. Whether it is through treatment of acute injuries, use in chronic cases or for prevention, and performance improvement and training.
Fascial movement taping was created as a comprehensive framework of taping for each phase of need, from reduced swelling in an acute injury to helping outcomes in the rehabilitation phase of care and finally as an adjunct to training or competition to improve performance and recovery.
Purposes of FMT
- Pain Mitigation
- Neurosensory Input
There are two proposed effects of using kinesiology taping that lead to positive and therapeutic clinical results. The first effect is that it mechanically decompresses the skin and the underlying tissues it is applied to. Tissue decompression has two primary effects on the body. First, it relieves pressure from the free nerve endings in the tissues that are responsible for pain, so it can immediately reduce perceived pain. Secondly, the decompression action of the tape allows better circulation to and from the area taped. This reduces swelling at the site of an injury and likely contributes to the performance and recovery of individuals.
The second major effect of kinesiology taping is the stimulation it provides to the variety of sensory nerves in the skin and underlying tissues. The skin and the connective tissue beneath it are filled with sensory receptors that are responsible for feeling light and heavy touch, fine point discrimination, pain, temperature and pressure. Additionally, some of these receptors serve a feedback (proprioception) role. This neurological effect of taping provides sensory feedback to the brain. There is an increase in the areas of the sensory cortex of the brain that is stimulated.
Facial Movement Taping lifts and creates shear patterns in the skin and underlying tissues. Nociception, which is perceived as pain at the conscious level of the brain, shares the same pathways in the nervous system with movement and proprioception. The nerve pathways that relay pain to the brain travel via relatively slow nerves. When tape stimulates our sensory receptors in the skin (most of which travel to the brain on much faster nerves than pain) it has a pain-gate effect. Simply stated one of the benefits of FMT is to stimulate a large number of sensory receptors which travel at a much faster rate than the pain receptors, thereby closing the gate to pain and opening the gate to movement. Movement decreases the sensation of pain.
FMT is useful in the acute, sub-acute, and chronic stages of healing as well as throughout active rehabilitation. At the other end of the spectrum, FMT is being used to enhance movement and proprioception, as a prevention method in sports and activities and to improve recovery during training cycles in uninjured athletes.
Prior to any taping the doctors will ensure patients have had no prior reactions to any kinesiology tapes, other sports tapes or any other types of adhesive, such as Band-Aids. If skin reaction is a concern for the patient their skin may be tested by using a small piece of the tape for a short period of time to look for a reaction. Allergies and skin sensitives are typically not an issue with RockTape because it is latex free. It is common for the skin to become itchy in the places the Rock Tape is applied however, watch for irritation or itching that becomes intolerable.
RockTape and FMT can be applied to almost any client at any time for the variety of reasons. In the acute stage of an injury the focus of FMT is on pain reduction and controlling edema (swelling). Over the course of several days as fluid dynamics are regulated, taping continues to offer pain relief as well as fostering normal range of motion and quality of movement as much as possible. As patients transition into the subacute phase of care, where they are likely doing more corrective exercises, FMT frameworks begin to focus more on the proprioception and movement benefits and this carries forward into the prevention, performance improvement and recovery taping.