Monday, December 2, 2013

Kinesio Tape for Preemie Physical Therapy

Emily just started physical therapy. As part of her therapy program, Kinesio Tape has been recommended.

What is Kinesio Tape?
If you follow U.S. basketball, you may be familiar with Kinesio Tape. Derrick Rose, the Chicago Cubs point guard, wears it on the back of his neck. Last month, the National Basketball Association (NBA) indicated that Rose could no longer wear Kinesio Tape. However, the NBA later changed its mind. NBA players are now able to wear Kinesio tape on an experimental basis. 

Kinesio Tape is elastic adhesive tape that provides support without restricting motion. The tape is latex-free and can be used for multiple purposes. It may improve alignment, muscle strength, and circulation; decrease pressure in a targeted area; and provide sensory stimulation.

Kinesio Tape is available in various colors and can be purchased at or a sporting good store.

Skin Sensitivity

Our physical therapist recommended Kinesio Tape for Emily during her first therapy session. Although I had never heard of it, I was very interested in trying it to help Emily meet developmental milestones.

As a first step, the therapist placed two pieces of Kinesio Tape on Emily's back. The tape was placed in this area as a test application to determine skin sensitivity.  As an added bonus, Emily would benefit from the tape being placed this targeted area -- as she is just now beginning to sit unassisted and needs to work on strengthening her back and torso muscles.

After Emily had worn the Kinesio Tape for 24 hours, I applied lotion on and around the tape.  Once the lotion had been absorbed, I took my time trying to peel off the tape as gently as possible. I honestly find band aids difficult to remove -- and the Kinesio Tape was much more challenging.

Upon removal, I noticed an imprint of the Kinesio Tape on Emily's skin.  However, there were no bruises, blisters, or patches of raw skin. At first, I thought that Emily had passed the skin sensitivity test.  However, a few hours later, I noticed that the Kinesio Tape imprint became bright red -- and the textured ridges from the adhesive were even more evident.

Emily also developed a rash (small, red raised bumps) all over her body. We called the pediatrician and were told to give her Benadryl. If the rash didn't improve by the morning, we were to report to the pediatrician's office.

Unfortunately, Emily's rash didn't improve, so I took her to the pediatrician's office to be seen by the nurse practitioner. Since Emily hadn't been exposed to any new foods or medications, the nurse practitioner suggested that she could be hyper-sensitive to the Kinesio Tape or have some sort of skin virus.

To help with the rash, I've been applying Cetaphil lotion to Emily's skin during the day and petroleum jelly at night.  It's been almost a week since the Kinesio Tape was first applied, and the rash is almost completely gone.

What Are Your Experiences with Kinesio Tape?

Unfortunately, Emily will not be using Kinesio Tape as part of her therapy regimen.  We're concerned that her sensitive skin just can't tolerate the tape.

Have you tried Kinesio Tape as part of your child's therapy program? I'd love to learn about your experiences, so please feel free to comment on this blog post.

Material provided on Preemie Blessings is for informational purposes only.
Please contact your healthcare provider with questions about your child's health plan.


1 comment:

  1. "My gut is that kinesio tape could be a bit aggressive for her soft little skin." From our friend, Laura Garcia; Physical Therapist, Reno, NV.