Kinesiology tape is not just for people, horses can benefit from it too. Find out how it works and where you can learn to do it yourself.
Most people become familiar with kinesiology tape by noticing it on athletes during competitions. Others have had personal experience with it at their Chiropractor or Physical Therapist’s office. Kinesiology tape has definitely grown in popularity in the past few years. Many people are starting to wonder if this tape can be used on animals. The simple answer is YES and kinesiology tape is quickly becoming a recognized modality in the equine world!
For those of you who are not familiar with kinesiology tape, it is a sticky tape that stretches along the longitudinal axis. Kinesio tape was originally developed by Kenzo Kase in Japan in the 1970’s for his own patients. It quickly became popular with athletes because it enabled them to continue competing by supporting the joints and soft tissues without reducing range of motion. Today this tape is widely used in clinical settings to help patients with everything from back pain to plantar fasciitis.
How does the tape work?
- Supports Muscles — Proper taping improves the muscle’s ability to contract even when it’s weakened, reduces a feeling of pain and fatigue, and protects the muscle from cramping, over-extension and over-contraction.
- Improves blood flow — Kinesiology tape improves blood and lymphatic circulation and reduces inflammation and excess chemical buildup in the tissue.
- Reduces Pain — As the tape stretches, it lifts the animal’s hair which lifts the skin and stimulates nerve endings called mechanoreceptors. As the mechanoreceptors are stimulated, nociceptors (pain receptors) are inhibited. This acts as a natural pain control.
- Supports Joints — The tape can be applied around joints with more stretch which mechanically supports the joint. This method of taping works well when soft tissue injury and instability are present.
To help owners learn how to properly apply the tape to their animals, Dr. Angelique Barbara developed an on-line Equine Kinesiology Taping and Canine Kinesiology Taping course.
To learn more about the Equine Kinesiology Taping Course, click here:
To learn more about the Canine Kinesiology Taping Course, click here:
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