Have You Heard About Kinesiology/Physio Taping for Dogs?

I came across the term of kinesiology taping once--there isn't much talk about it. Is it a new technique, a well-kept secret, or something not worth mentioning?

Have You Heard About Kinesiology/Physio Taping for Dogs?
Physio tape. Image Parkside Animal Hospital

When I first read about physio taping for dogs, it didn't strike my curiosity--I couldn't say why not. I am always interested in alternative approaches and techniques. Perhaps it sounded kind of obscure.

Cookie's physical therapist brought the subject back to light when I learned that she's getting a certification for it.

This time it sounded interesting.

How many people know what the word kinesiology means? Science or pseudo-science?

Kinesiology is the study of the mechanics of body movement. That sounds like an important thing to learn. How could anybody assess and treat mobility and related pain issues without understanding how the body moves?

For example, I've heard such criticism about some of the surgeries that aim to repair knees with torn cruciate ligaments. A better understanding always allows better solutions.

It's not a new invention.

It seems that kinesiology taping was introduced for humans in 1970s in Japan. The method was introduced to the U.S. in 1995.

The goal of the technique is to facilitate the natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting movement.

"The tape is applied to bridge an injured area while leaving room for drainage which relieves pain, increases blood flow, and reduces muscle fatigue." ~Susan E. Davis, PT

Kinesiology tape has three foundational applications - pain, swelling, and sensory awareness. You can read more about that in Kinesiology Tape - Fact or Fiction? It's a great article by a physical therapist who finds this technique beneficial.

Cookie's PT, while working on her certification, is also excited about the technique.

Another PT friend, who is a fantastic physical therapist, though, said she has never gotten any impressive results. She also admits, though, that she seems to lack the predisposition to do it right. In her words, she sucks at it.

I think that brings up an important point.

Unlike drugs, and to some degree surgery, alternative techniques largely depend on being done just right. Once a drug is prescribed, it is the medication that does the job. And it does it generally the same way every time. Prescribing medication doesn't require a whole lot of skill--you can often just look it up in a book.

Alternative treatments are different. Acupuncture, physical therapy, physio taping, even laser therapy, and other techniques need to be applied in precisely the right way, in the precisely right spot. Else they don't work. I think they require something more visceral than merely learning from a book. Finding the right practitioner might be what makes the difference between results and disappointment. Which might also be the reason why mainstream science frowns upon many of these things.

I am a fan of alternative approaches.

There is a time and place for drugs or surgery. But when I have the option to try something less invasive and more natural I always give it consideration. We've had great results with many of these things. If it came to it, I'd absolutely give physio taping a try. Particularly since Cookie's PT does have the innate talent which seems to be needed to do it effectively.

Have you ever heard of kinesiology/physio taping? Have you ever tried it for your dog? Were you pleased with the results?

Further reading:
Kinesiology Tape - Fact or Fiction?