Kinesiology taping can offer structural or muscle support, affect lymph function, assist in correcting joint problems, and decrease pain. When properly applied by a practitioner, the tape alleviates discomfort and facilitates lymphatic drainage by microscopically lifting the skin away from the muscle and fascia, which decompresses the area to reduce swelling/inflammation while enabling a more effective flow of blood and lymphatic fluid in and out of the affected area.
Taping can also lessen muscle fatigue, which is important not only for the parts of your body that are currently hurting, but also for the surrounding areas that may be compensating for muscles that are currently not working well. It is a non-restrictive type of tape, offering full movement of a taped area.
Unlike other kinesiology taping techniques, where strict protocol is key and specific muscles are taped for specific conditions using directional taping to activate or inhibit muscles, RockTape and Functional Movement Techniques (FMT) are more about taping for movement, not muscles. The goal of using RockTape is to encourage movement.
FMT is useful in acute, sub-acute, and chronic stages of injury healing as well as throughout active rehab. There are FMT applications for decreasing pain (Pain Taping), increasing circulation and movement of lymph (Fluid Dynamics Taping), postural applications (Posture Taping), nerve entrapment (Nerve Entrapment) and even for scar tissue (Scar Taping).
FMT begins with a simple framework that is applied consistently throughout the approach and is open source, allowing practitioners from a variety of disciplines to make FMT work for their practices and clients.
The FMT framework for Pain Taping uses between 1-3 pieces of RockTape. These are known as the stabilization strip(s) and the decompression strip. Stabilization strips typically run along the length of the area being taped. For example, if the low back is indicated as the location of pain, a stabilization strip would be applied from the sacroiliac joint toward the lower ribcage and parallel to the spine.
The client is positioned to lengthen the area being taped, and in this case, a flexed forward position. This stretches the posterior fascial chain and skin before the tape is applied. Lengthening will produce significant decompression and lifting and without restricting the client’s ability to move. The stabilization strip is applied with little to no stretch.
After the stabilization strip is in place, a decompression strip is applied perpendicular to the stabilization strip and over the area of the client’s greatest pain. The decompression strip is applied using 0-50% stretch in the middle of the strip and with no stretch on the tape at the anchors. More than one decompression strip may be used in an application for targeting multiple areas of focal pain.
The practitioner will rub the applied strips on skin to activate the adhesive tape.
RockTape and Functional Movement Techniques can be used on almost any client, at any time, and can be used for virtually all clinical conditions. Different sizes of tape can be applied, length of stabilization strips can be altered depending on the location of application, and the number and position placement of decompression strips can vary as well allowing the practitioner some variances to obtain best results for their clients.