What is Taping?

Taping has been used as part of Physiotherapy management for many years. It is helpful in Physiotherapy for children with joint pain as electrical treatment (such as ultrasound, short wave etc) is generally not recommended.


How can rigid taping help?

Rigid taping or strapping is used by physiotherapists to treat musculo skeletal conditions. It can be worn for up to 18 hours at a time. Rigid tape may help by:

  • Restricting movement at muscles and joints.
  • Altering joint alignment, including patellar alignment or patellar tracking (the angle at which the kneecap sits or moves when the knee bends and straightens) in anterior knee pain.
  • Facilitating better activation of compromised muscle groups by improving their angle of pull.
  • Easing symptoms of pain and grinding.
  • Improving proprioception, (the information the brain receives about joint position and movement).

What are the advantages of Kinesio-tape?

Elastic Therapeutic Taping and Kinesio taping are relatively new techniques used by Physiotherapists. K-tape can be left on the skin, with normal bathing or swimming for up to 4 days. Elastic Therapeutic Taping is extremely versatile and can be used as part of the physiotherapy management for a huge range of conditions seen in babies and young children, including neurological conditions, torticollis, and joint and muscle problems. Kinesio-tape can:

  • Provide muscle support/ facilitation
  • Promote joint range by relaxing tight tendons and muscles
  • Relieve pain
  • Alter joint alignment, including patellar tracking
  • Reduce inflammation and swelling
  • Provide increased information to the brain regarding joint position and movement (proprioception)
  • Allow full range of movement at joints (it stretches to 140% of its original length)

Why KidsPhysio?

Kinesio-taping is based on the theories by Dr Kenzo Kase, who developed the use of flexible tape for the treatment of sports injuries. At KidsPhysio we use the principles from Esther De Ru, who developed taping principles for use in babies and young children - Elastic Therapeutic (ET) taping.

  • Minimal tape is used, compared with taping over the full muscle length or covering an area.
  • We never use pink tape as adverse effects have been observed by practitioners
  • We know that the glue in our tape is allergen free. We only use high quality tape.
  • We understand the differences between the skin of babies and young children compared with adults, including:
    • The skin of babies and young children is more fragile and sensitive than the skin of an adult.
    • In babies and children the ratio of skin surface compared with bodyweight is larger and their skin is more permeable, allowing it to absorb more chemicals more easily.

Case Example

Rigid TapingA 10-year old boy was referred for physiotherapy with a 3-month history of bilateral Severs Disease (heel pain caused by inflammation at the growth plate in the heel). His pain was gradually worsening and limiting his activity levels. He had four Physiotherapy sessions funded by his health insurance company.

Initially, he was unable to put his heels to the floor and described pain levels of 8/10 on his right heel and 6/10 on his left. Immediately after taping he reported a decrease in his pain to 5/10 on both sides, he could put his heels to the floor but his bottom was sticking out. He was advised on calf stretches and ice therapy for home.

One week later, he reported that his heels had been more comfortable throughout the week. K-tape was re-applied and he reported that his pain reduced from 6/10 to 4/10. His heels were down and his bottom tucked in better. He was reluctant to try and stand on one leg. He was advised to continue his stretches and ice therapy and add some hip extension exercises.

He was on holiday the following week so his mother was shown how to apply the tape whilst they were away.

At his third Physiotherapy appointment, his mother commented that he was less ‘hobbley’ in the mornings. Prior to taping he stood on his right leg for 8 seconds and his left for 11 seconds, stopping because of the pain. After taping, he stood for 12 seconds on his right and 20 seconds on his left.

TapingAt appointment 4, he reported his pain was at 4/10, (reducing to 3/10 after taping) but duller and more spread up his calf rather than sharp and isolated in his heel, so the taping technique was modified. He balanced for 15 seconds on his right leg and I stopped counting at 30 seconds on his left.

I recommended continued taping, exercises and ice therapy at home, and to contact the Insurance Company for further physiotherapy appointments should his symptoms stop improving.