Athletes across the world are taping up—a movement that exploded during the 2012 London Olympics and video of international stars like Serena Williams and David Beckham wearing various forms of tape.
Tens of thousands of people worldwide are trained in various forms of taping including Ryan Kendrick, founder of Dynamic Tape and a Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist IMS Practitioner, whose mission is to reduce the load of the tendons during athletic performance.
The Dynamic Tape was developed initially for musculoskeletal and sports physiotherapy, says Ryan. But Ryan’s mission has resonated in the areas of pediatrics, neurology rehabilitation, and hand therapy.
Doctors across the country have found that the same movements and support can be applied to kids who suffer with cerebral palsy, and give them the extra protection and flexibility that is afforded to elite athletes.
Children who suffer with cerebral palsy have spasticity, which is an important aspect that affects the development of the musculoskeletal system and limits the normal motor function. Spasticity leads to inadequate joint positions, and two main problems exist, muscle weakness with selective loss of motor control. Neuromotor and musculoskeletal dynamics cause muscle contractions that over time become fixed, leading to joint deformities.
According to Ryan, the Dynamic Tape has very different physical properties to other tapes like athletic taps or kinesio tapes. It has a very strong recoil stretches a long way and in all directions so as not to limit the person’s movements or the recoil effect of the tape if overlapping the tape.
Problems that occur in children with cerebral palsy and other conditions effects the biomechanics significantly, say Ryan.
“Because of the unique properties, visco-elasticity, strong recoil and four way stretch, the Dynamic Tape can contribute its elastic potential energy to resist, facilitate, inhibit, load or unload soft tissues. In addition to the normal effects - proprioceptive, neurophysiological and circulatory of conventional tapes, it works directly on the dynamic changes minimizing compensations which can end up being the biggest factor for biomechanical dysfunctions in the pattern of movement.”
We are focused on managing the load and using elastic recoil to absorb the load, says Ryan, We use it mechanically and use it like a bungee cord. The elastic energy in the tape deceleration and absorb the local load, which in turn takes the work off of the muscles. Your energy improves biomechanics to improve.
Ryan says he developed the tape after years of research that allows the wearer to move through full range of motion without limitation but with strong biomechanical assistance (as opposed to a primary neurophysiological approach).
A clinician can determine from a thorough assessment and sound clinical reasoning, the major areas to address and can devise a Dynamic Taping technique specific to a child.
“Researchers at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital have found that more than 25 percent of children with cerebral palsy seen by physicians have moderate to severe chronic pain, limiting their activity.”