The Effectiveness Of Kinesiology Taping In Pediatrics: Enhancing Muscle Function And Postural Control

  • October 12, 2016

Kinesiology taping rose to prominence since it first appeared during the Beijing Olympics. Due to its exponential growth in the world of sports, kinesiology taping or pediatric kinesiology taping (to be exact) is now incorporated into mainstream medicine and treatment protocols used in the field of pediatrics. If you are intrigued by this niche of physical therapy in CT, read on!

How do therapists determine if a child requires taping? During the initial assessment, the therapist will assess details including the child’s background, medical history, previous therapies and developmental milestones. It is not uncommon for therapists to also assess the primary concerns of parent for goal prioritization, the child’s range of motion limitations, joint stability, body alignment, movement patterns (in different positions) and more.

After the assessment phase, a test patch is applied to monitors the child’s skin response and integrity. In addition, deep tissue massage as well as shoulder stretches and mobilizations are used to prepare the child’s body and relax their muscles prior to the actual taping.

The common properties of kinesio tapes

The look and feel of kinesio tapes are things people tend to get curious about. Below is a quick look at the basic properties of these tapes:

  • Elasticity is similar to the elasticity of human skin (this allows the tape to stay on for days to maximize its full effect)
  • Functions like regular athletic tape to allow free movement instead of restricted movement
  • Comes with a heat-sensitive adhesive that’s made from medical grade acrylic
  • Provides variable tension
  • Latex-free

The benefits of kinesio taping for children

Taping in pediatrics offers a myriad of benefits, which include:

  • Improved self-help, oral motor, fine motor and gross motor skills
  • Increased body awareness via sensory input
  • Joint stabilization for increased distal control
  • Reduces fatigue by strengthening and supporting weak muscles
  • Improved muscle and body alignment through motor skills development

Who can benefit from pediatric kinesiology taping?

More often than not, patients who are affected by neuromuscular, orthopedic and the following medical conditions can benefit from pediatric kinesiology taping.

  • Poor posture
  • Pain induced by orthopedic injury
  • Lymphedema
  • Torticollis
  • Brain injury
  • Decreased coordination
  • Low muscle tone
  • Gait abnormalities (hyperextension, flat feet, toe-walking, etc.)
  • Gross motor developmental delays
  • Down syndrome
  • Paralysis or weakness in a certain body part
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • … and more.

Taping helps relieve swelling and pain for better muscle function

Taping has the capability to rapidly relieve swelling and pain. Due to the countless benefits that taping offers, it has become a go-to modality for many debilitating conditions of childhood and infancy. With the right application technique, taping can activate injured or weak muscles, assist with corrective biomechanical alignment and inhibit overactive muscles. Today, tapes with gentler adhesives are used as they are kid-friendly and will not aggravate sensitive skin conditions. In addition, this allows for most applications to be worn up to seven days.

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How taping assists with postural control for children with movement disorders and developmental delays

It is already known that children and infant with movement disorders, brain injury, central nervous system dysfunction and developmental delays can benefit from the ongoing use of pediatric kinesiology tape. Moderns studies have also found that conditions like toe hypotonia and hemiplegia have responded positively to kinesiology taping. Low muscle tone is also one of the conditions that could use taping. The tape can activate weak muscles and assist with postural control.

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