There's no doubt about it, Kinesio Taping is the buzz word in sports therapy nowadays and you're sure to find a roll of the pink, blue, or black tape in almost every therapist's kit bag.
Correctly applied, Kinesio tape creates a lifting effect on skin that improves circulation, relieves pain, and either relaxes or stimulates muscles depending on the tension, width and direction with which it is applied. It's perfect for athletes and sports people because it supports muscles in movement, as well as reducing pain.
There are many different forms of application which depend on the injury or condition of the patient - but one thing's for certain - you need to know what you're doing in order to get the best results.
Kinesio UK organises regular KTA (Kinesio Taping Association) training courses for physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths and sports therapists at various venues throughout the country. Popular new courses in equine Kinesio applications, as well as lymphatic and paediatric applications were introduced in 2013 and there are now over 5,000 trained, qualified Kinesio Practitioners in the UK.
Even the most fundamental Kinesio (KT1) course requires a good working knowledge of anatomy and physiology which is why courses are open only to qualified medical therapists.
A KT1 (basic) and KT2 (intermediate) course was held recently in Newcastle and led by Chartered Physiotherapist Lee Clark. Lee is also a renowned Equine Physiotherapist. He combines human and equine work, dividing his time equally between Darlington FC Physiotherapy and Sport Injury clinic, and The Equine Physiotherapy Clinic which specialises in rehabilitating horses after serious injury. He is the Official Team Physiotherapist for the British Equestrian Endurance team, responsible for treating the riders and horses.
Lee says: "A Kinesio taping qualification is a big asset to a health therapist. Not only are you learning the theory behind the treatment, but you're using the correct techniques from the start and will be able to help patients far more effectively. Finally, the qualification itself is quite likely to bring you more business."
There were ten participants on Lee's KT1 and KT2 course and they came from all over the country.
Adam Newall (24) works as a physiotherapist at Everton Football Club and has wished to be Kinesio qualified since he started work. He says: "I wanted to learn the official application techniques for Kinesio taping so I could treat players' injuries in a targeted and effective way. Lee has taught us lots of Kinesio applications for common sports injuries today as well as demonstrating how and why Kinesio works for different problems. It's been a very worthwhile course and I'll be able to use these new skills straight away on the players."
Nick Clunies Ross MCSP Dip RG/RT runs The Physiotherapy and Sports Clinic in Morpeth and Cramlington, Northumberland (www.physioandsportsclinic.co.uk) and specialises in sports injuries and rehabilitation, as well as long term management of spinal injuries. He wished to attend the KT 1 and 2 courses as Kinesio Tape is considered the market leader of therapeutic tapes and also because instructor Lee Clark is highly regarded professionally.
Karen Jackson is a graduate sports therapist from Darlington who wished to have official Kinesio qualifications as this will help her career and greatly improve her chances of finding full time employment. Although she already had basic Kinesio training, Karen found the KT1 and 2 courses very useful and she now understands far more clearly how it works and feels confident to treat many more conditions with Kinesio.
Although Adam, Nick and Karen admit to having watched YouTube videos in the past for tape application tips, they both agree that attending the KT1 and 2 courses gave them invaluable theoretical knowledge as well as excellent, practical examples of how and why certain applications of Kinesio Tape can help specific injuries. They were also given individual, hands-on tuition, were able to practise the techniques themselves and left, not only with a valuable qualification but a lot more knowledge.
Kinesio UK courses run most weeks all over the UK and Eire. For instance in October 2014, we have five courses in Newcastle, Chelmsford, Edinburgh, Wakefield and London. For more information and to book go to http://kinesiotaping.co.uk/kinesiotraining/kinesiotraining.jsp