I couldn’t help but notice the number of athletes who were sporting brightly colored, and sometimes patterned, Kinesio tape. I first noticed the tape on volleyball players during the 2008 Olympic games. Now it appears that every athlete is on the Kinesio bandwagon.
Intrigued, I took to my computer and started some research. I learned that although Kinesio tape is now hitting the mainstream, it has been utilized for 25 years. It was designed utilizing the premise that the body can heal itself when it is properly supported. Because it is not constricting, the tape is comfortable to wear while it’s porous surface allows the skin to breath. It is applied over muscles to minimize pain and inflammation, thus relaxing tired muscles that are suffering from overuse and supporting muscle movement.
I began to wonder if Kinesio tape might have a positive impact on my residual limb. Between the distal flap failure (my skin is now flabby on the tip of my limb, leaving my bone unprotected) and my bone spur/ bursas, I have been experiencing more pain. Always looking for a non-narcotic treatment, I decided to invest a few dollars and experiment.
When the tape arrived in the mail I was skeptical, but remained curious. After reading the directions, I taped the tip of my limb, positioning the tissue so that the bone was padded. The first few steps in my socket were not comfortable because I could feel all of the hair being pulled by the tape. Just when I got to the point where I was going to give up, the tugging stopped and my leg was comfortable.
I went about my normal activities, playing with my son and cleaning the house. I didn’t notice any difference in pain walking throughout the day. Keeping the tape on (the directions were clear that it could remain in place for up to three days) I curled into bed for the night.
The tape didn’t alleviate any discomfort during the day, but I felt a remarkable difference at night! I’m not sure if it was because the tissue was supported throughout the day, or because the tape was somehow relieving nerve issues, but the absence of my normal twinges and phantom pains felt like a miracle. I can’t remember the last time I didn’t nerve pain or muscle spasms when I was trying to fall asleep.
I’ve been wearing the Kinesio tape for two weeks and it has continued to yield profound results at night. The hair tugging that I feel each time I don my leg is worth because of the relief I reap in the evening. I don’t know if the composition of the tape is directly responsible for extinguishing my limb pain. I can’t help but believe that supporting the tissue must be beneficial. In either case, I have no plans on stopping the use of the Kinesio tape in the near future. I don’t fully understand how or why, but I do know that it is working!