What is Dynamic Tape?

Why is it called “Biomechanical Tape”?

Dynamic TapeDynamic Taping is about managing load, managing movement patterns, and managing function by introducing force into the system and based on sound clinical reasoning. Biomechanics is defined as “the study of the mechanical laws relating to the movement or structure of living organisms.” Dynamic Tape is an externally applied load absorbing product that affects the work of muscles and motion of joints. As mentioned, kinesiology tapes are designed to lift the skin to create space in order to take pressure off pain sensitive structures, increase circulation, or to affect muscle activity via the input into the nervous system through the skin. Dynamic Tape doesn’t fit that category but it does fit with the concepts of Biomechanics. In fact, Dynamic Taping has more in common with traditional, rigid athletic tapes, Mulligan and McConnell taping than it does with kinesiology taping.

How Does Dynamic Taping Work?

At Dynamic Tape we believe that tissues don’t fail because of pain, they fail because of load. And we have a little research to back it up. Dynamic Taping aims to absorb load extrinsically thereby reducing the load that the body has to dissipate intrinsically. In many cases pain is not even present and if it is, it does not correlate well with the amount of tissue damage. Rather than chasing the pain, Dynamic Taping attempts to address underlying contributing factors or simply to improve function. It can be used to manage load transfer to reduce compensation strategies and maladaptive behaviours. Dynamic Taping may be used for a wide variety of goals from assisting someone with a foot drop post stroke to correcting someone’s golf swing.

A focus on movement, function, and load allows us to get effective results. Dynamic Tape has been specifically developed to provide strong mechanical assistance externally to:

  • Reduce the work on injured tissues
  • Assist weak muscles
  • Improve movement patterns
  • Augment stability via force closure mechanism
  • Change position to improve the muscle’s capacity to generate force (length-tension relationship) all while still allowing full range of motion even when performing complex, multi-planar movements like those required in sport or work.

Of course, you will see many taping applications on athletes that have no possibility of having a mechanical effect. Certain criteria must be fulfilled and obtaining a mechanical effect on some parts of the body is much harder than others. Correct application is essential.

An example of taping mechanically

Mechanical effect – this is the relaxed, resting position of the foot when an arch support taping is applied correctly. This results in a shortening of the foot and a raising of the arch along with forefoot adduction and calcaneal inversion. An artificial windlass mechanism is created and in order for the foot to flatten it must push through the strong resistance of the tape, the tape thereby reducing the load absorption requirements on structures like the plantar fascia and musculotendinous units normally charged with this function.

When the foot is placed on the ground, the resistance of the tape must be overcome for the foot to lengthen or for the arch to drop. The tape therefore acts to decelerate these movements and reduce the magnitude. Both of these factors are important in conditions such as Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (MTSS). It will also absorb some of the load that would otherwise be placed wholly upon the plantar fascia and musculotendinous units.

The foot can still move through range and this is important as it can dissipate load further by moving at multiple motion segments and can also accommodate to the ground surface. ‘Locking up’ not only reduces the dissipation of load at that segment and can result in compensation strategies, it can also reduce the ‘ankle strategy’ required for the maintenance of balance.

The correction need not be as strong as shown to be effective. This technique has been shown to increase navicular height and reduce foot length in weight bearing and non weight bearing over and above that seen with a ‘passive’ taping technique. Significant change was still present after three days (including 26 km of running) and a further twenty-four hours after removal of the tape. Check our latest research for more details.

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Mechanical Effect – pressure changes in weight bearing with the arch support technique. In this case it has reduced weight bearing on the medial aspect of the forefoot, particularly the first and second MTP joints as evidenced by the reduction in signal intensity on the medial forefoot of the right foot (taped) of the left pairing when compared to the right pairing. Similarly, an increase in weight bearing is noted laterally on the taped foot (right) in the left pairing when compared to the untaped version (right pairing).

Physiological mechanisms

(Magyar) Ide tartoznak a fájdalomra, keringésre, proprioceptív és motoros kontrollért felelős rendszerekre gyakorolt direkt hatások. Annak ellenére, hogy mindezen hatások kiváltása nem elsődleges célja a Dynamic Taping technikának, az említett pozitív hatásokkal gyakran találkozunk ezért a jövőben tovább folytatódó kutatások segítenek jobban megérteni hatásmechanizmusát. Számos pozitív hatású élettani folyamattal számolhatunk a Biomechanikai Tape™ alkalmazása során:

  • Non-opioid fájdalomcsillapítás – sérülés esetén szimpatikus izgalmi hatás gyakran megfigyelhető. Bizonyos manuális technikák fájdalomcsillapító hatása hasonló a non-opioid szerek hatásához. (pl.: vizsgálatok bizonyítják fájdalomcsillapító hatását a Mulligan-féle lateralis glide-nak a könyökízületben vagy Elvey-féle lateralis glide-nak a nyaki gerincen lateralis epicondylitis –teniszkönyök- esetén.)
  • A feszülő szövetek okozta nyomás következtében kialakuló fájdalom (pressure pain threshold) csökkenthető és a keringés javítható azáltal, hogy az érintett terület lágyrészeit manuálisan kiemeljük (szövetek torlódása – „off-loading”) és azt a helyzetet fenntartjuk a Dynamic Tape megfelelő módon történő alkalmazásával. Ezzel a módszerrel egy lágy, szivacsos teret hozunk létre az adott területen, mely csökkenti az irritált szövetek nyomását és csökkenti a szenzitizált perifériás nociceptorok aktivitását.
  • A normál afferens input-ot befolyásolva moduláló hatása lehet a fájdalomérzetre. A bőrre kifejtett, folyamatosan fennálló, de változó mértékű stimuláció, az ízületek approximációja és az izmok változó mértékű megnyúlása (létrejön, mivel a tape az izom megrövidült helyzetében enyhe nyújtással kerül felhelyezésre, így az izom megnyúlásakor a tape szignifikáns mértékben feszül meg, komprimálva ezzel a szöveteket) nagyfokú mechanikai hatást gyakorol a szervezetre.
  • A Dynamic Tape-el folyó legújabb kutatási eredmények alapján az említett kompressziónak (vagy a kompresszió csökkentésének „off-loading” technikák esetén) moduláló hatása lehet a motoros rendszerre is, egyrészt a Golgi-ínorsóból és az izomorsóból érkező afferens inputra, másrészt ennek következtében az izom aktivációjára gyakorolt hatása útján.
  • A beteg korábbi tapasztalatainak, hitrendszerének, elvárásainak és számos egyéb tényezőnek szintén módosító hatása van a fájdalomérzetre. A fenyegetettség-érzés csökkentésével a fájdalomérzet csökkenése is elérhető.
  • Hasonlóképpen nagy jelentősége van a fájdalomérzetben a perifériáról érkező szenzoros jelátvivő rendszernek. A terhelés csökkentése vagy a szenzitizált (nem feltétlenül károsodott) struktúrák felszabadítása szintén pozitív hatással a fájdalomérzetre.
  • A keringés fokozódása – ennek mechanizmusa még nincs teljesen feltérképezve, de kutatások igazolták a szövetek feszességének, merevségének csökkenését az „off-load” technikák alkalmazása esetén, amikor a kezelt terület lágyrészeit manuálisan kiemeljük és Dynamic Tape alkalmazásával rögzítjük a helyzetet. A kompresszió csökkentése következtében a kisebb erek megnyílása lehetővé teszi a folyadékáramlás fokozódását.
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Offloading technique

Showing the soft, spongy effect on the soft tissue

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Bruising & swelling

The effect of gathering the soft tissue manually (box or pinch offload) can be seen here. The difference is clearly evident when the tape is removed after three days. Compression (tubigrip) was also applied over the tape to the injury on the right, yet the bruising is resolving far better where the tape was than where compression alone was present.

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‘Box’ offload vs kinesiology approach

Note that the method of taping and potential mechanism is different to kinesiology taping. The tape is still applied with the joint and soft tissues in the shortened and relaxed position (not lengthened like a kinesiology tape). The soft tissue is then manually gathered up to create the soft, spongy area that results in a reduction in tissue stiffness or tension (Hug et al, 2014) . The tissue is then held in place using the strong recoil of the tape. There are no wrinkles in the tape as we are not trying to lift the skin but rather draw all of the soft tissues together to create a deeper reduction in tissue tension.

History

Dynamic Tape was developed by Australian Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Ryan Kendrick BPhty, MPhtySt. who was awarded both of his degrees at the University of Queensland under the expert guidance of respected leaders in the field such as Professors Gwendolyn Jull, Carolyn Richardson, Paul Hodges, Michelle Sterling and Bill Vicenzino.

Ryan’s clinical experience was divided between professional athletes and private musculoskeletal physiotherapy practice. He has worked as Physiotherapist to tennis player Greg Rusedski, former world number four and US Open finalist as part of the ‘Dream Team’ assembled by Pat Cash to resurrect Rusedski’s career after a series of injuries saw him drop from four in the world to 73, with the tennis press writing his career off as a result.

With a strong emphasis on rebuilding his game to reduce load on his body while improving performance along with a rehabilitation program to improve his body’s ability to withstand such load (fastest serve in the world at the time), Greg returned to his winning ways, climbing up the rankings and winning several more ATP tournaments during the remainder of his career which lasted another seven years.

Ryan also spent several years at Essex County Cricket Club and has worked with European Tour Golfers and many Commonwealth and Olympic Games athletes. Ryan has also been a clinical tutor in Musculoskeletal Physiotherapy on the Griffith University programme.

Tissues don’t fail because of pain, they fail because of load. Aware that many of the conditions presenting in clinical practice were a result of overuse or more correctly overload, Ryan recognised that current taping products were ineffective at absorbing load or contributing energy to reduce the workload of the musculotendinous unit. They were also ineffective at modifying the biomechanics whilst still permitting the full range of motion necessary to perform the complex skills required in many athletic pursuits. PosturePals had been developed for the same reason – to give patients a tool that they could use to reinforce or enhance the effects of treatment between visits without limiting their ability to perform their usual sports or activities of daily living.

After several years of development to address these limitations, Dynamic Tape was launched commercially in 2010. It is an adjunctive clinical tool in the management of muscle strains and tears, overuse and biomechanical injuries like achilles and patellar tendinopathy, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff pathology, tennis elbow, shin splints etc. but also equally applicable in Paediatrics, Neurology, Hand Therapy and even in Respiratory care.

Due to the clinical effectiveness, in the first twelve months alone distribution expanded from Australia to include New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Ireland, Switzerland, USA, Canada, Belgium, Netherlands, South Africa and continues to grow rapidly now reaching over 25 countries.

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