Kinesio tape is coloured therapeutic taping often seen on sporting celebrities, including Gareth Bale, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham, Andy Murray.
However, now it is being used to great effect on racehorses and eventers and there’s been much interest in horse circles and equine media.
The interest is so great that the first ever Scottish equine Kinesio course being held at Woodlands Equine Rehabilitation Centre, Oldhamstocks, this Saturday and Sunday was fully booked within days.
Chartered physiotherapist Lee Clark leads the course. Lee works with both humans and horses and was chosen to be one of the elite, eight strong Olympic team of equine physiotherapists working at London 2012.
Lee is also the official physiotherapist for the British Endurance Team (he treats both the horses and their riders) and is a strong advocate of the benefits of Kinesio Taping for horses. He specialises in back pain and tendon/ligament injuries and treats racehorses, eventers, show jumpers, dressage and family horses all over the country, as well as abroad.
So how does Kinesio work? It’s all in the application – hence the training courses. Kinesio tape creates a lifting effect on skin that improves circulation, relieves pain, and either relaxes or stimulates muscles depending on the tension, width and direction with which it is applied. There are many different forms of application which depend on the injury or condition of the patient.
Lee says: “Typical scenarios where Kinesio will help a horse recover include muscular, tendon or ligament injury, muscle spasms, or muscle weakness after an operation or if a horse has had prolonged stable rest. It’s excellent for helping reducing scar tissue and helping reduce swelling or inflammation.
“I mainly usually use Kinesio in conjunction with other therapies but there’s no doubt that its application - as long as it’s applied by a professional and qualified practitioner - speeds up recovery in horses.”