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  • How Chiropractic Students Use Kinesio Tape to Treat Knee Pain and More
Dr. Fanning applies kinesio tape onto a SCU Health patient

How Chiropractic Students Use Kinesio Tape to Treat Knee Pain and More


Chiropractors are often associated with musculoskeletal adjustments, but that’s not the only form of treatment in their expansive toolkit. One of the forms of adjunct therapy chiropractic students at Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) are taught is how to utilize kinesio tape, or KT tape.

If you’ve watched a sporting event, you’ve probably seen colorful kinesio tape worn by some athletes. Founded in the 1970s by Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kaze, kinesio tape is used as a rehabilitative tool in chiropractic, sports medicine, athletic training, physical therapy, and more. Dissatisfied with the stiff, rigid medical tape available, Dr. Kaze developed kinesio tape as a thin, flexible compression tape that could be used to complement care of a specific diagnosis.

Uses for Kinesio Tape

Depending on how it is applied, kinesio tape can support, enable, or restrict soft tissue and its movement. Its elastic properties enable it to support tissue function and promote efficiency of movement, helping to prevent injury, as well as speeding the recovery of existing injuries.

According to Lead Tactical Sports Medicine Clinician at SCU Health Michael Fanning, DC, DACBSP, CSCS, kinesio taping is used by chiropractors as an adjunct to hands-on therapy and/or rehabilitation exercises to help a variety of aches and pains, including spine, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle pain. Anyone from high school athletes to professionals can benefit from kinesio tape, as long as they do not have an allergy or history of adverse reactions to adhesives.

Common uses of kinesio tape include lifting and supporting the front of the knee around the kneecap, or patella, which is often used by runners with patellofemoral pain syndrome, also known as runner’s knee. Kinesio tape can also support sagging muscles around the foot arch, relieving the connective tissues for plantar fasciitis. When applied correctly, kinesio tape can up to a few days, depending on the level of activity.

About SCU’s Doctor of Chiropractic Program

SCU has been educating future chiropractors through the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic for over 110 years. The Doctor of Chiropractic offers an evidence-based, integrative, whole-person approach to practice, and SCU’s university-wide commitment to interprofessional education ensures graduates gain essential clinical chiropractic skills, as well as readiness for individual or group practice and participation in integrative settings or teams.

Chiropractic students at SCU learn multiple manipulations and other treatment techniques to care for patients in a personalized fashion. The program presents various care settings and business structures early on, with students learning from practitioner faculty who supplement their lectures with real-world insights from their own chiropractic care practices.

At SCU, clinical experience begins early, with students’ first clinical studies starting at the University Health Center and Human Performance Optimization Center on campus. After the first clinical term, students can expand their clinical experience to partner health centers, private practice rotations, and Veterans Health Administration hospitals. There is also the opportunity to learn through private practice rotations at roughly 100 private practice locations.

The Doctor of Chiropractic program also offers multiple paths to specialize each student’s academic experience, including a sports medicine emphasis. To learn more, visit scuhs.edu/.

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