Kinesiology taping for horses (equine) is a physiotherapy treatment and has various applications. It can be applied between (but not during) competitive elements of many international equine events (to speed recovery & improve endurance). In recreational riding, it alleviates discomfort from acute and chronic injuries. There is a rising demand from veterinary professionals for equine kinesiology taping. Veterinary professionals & equine physiotherapists use this technique on a daily basis to treat muscle injuries, biomechanical & postural dysfunction and aid performance & recovery time. It is particularly valuable in equine rehabilitation.
Sole or additional treatment for rehabilitation
VetkinTape (equine) can be used as either a sole or an add-on treatment in equine therapy. It can be used to reduce or control pain, manage swelling or oedema, increase range of joint motion and muscle function, and maintain a level of functionality and comfort for the animal throughout the rehabilitation process.
Reaction of horses and ponies to kinesiology tape
It is important to note that the behavior of some horses may be affected by kinesiotaping. This is due to the horse’s highly evolved proprioceptive mechanism that is regulated and monitored by receptors located in the muscles, tendons and joints.
Application & uses of kinesiology tape for horses
Kinesiology taping on horses is used to assist the following.
- Injured muscles – the equine tape lifts the skin from the tissue below. This reduces the sensation of pain and stimulates the circulation – assisting in the reduction of any swelling and enhancing the blood flow to the injured muscle.
- Biomechanical dysfunction – the horse tape provides support or stability without restricting the range of motion.
- Postural dysfunction – the tape improves the proprioceptive feedback to the area, helping retrain the muscles to maintain the correct posture.
- Improves performance & recovery time – It doesn’t necessarily make a horse performance greater than baseline measures, but can improve endurance as the increased circulation enhances the supply of oxygen to muscles and the removal of the lactic acid. It can also improve recovery time after intense training sessions or races, as the increased circulation assists in the removal of waste products.
Effected physiological systems by equine kinesiology tape
Equine kinesiology tape effect various physiological systems.
Circulatory / lympatic system
A constriction of the lymph circulation is often caused by inflammation of damaged tissue. The discharge of liquid leads to an increase of pressure, as the swelling fills the space between skin and muscle and restricts the lymph flow. The kinesiology tape reduces this pressure and reduces lymph congestions. The traumatized area is stretched while the tape is applied un-stretched. The skin, which retreats from the stretching, is now lifted by the tape. Convolutions appear in the tape which cause a reduction of pressure and an activation of the lymph flow.
Improving the muscle function
Damage to muscles also leads to ruptures inside their connective tissue. The pressure and pain sensors, being irritated by the discharge of liquid into the space between the tissue, will show swelling, pain, stiffness and increased inflammation as a result. Kinesiology taping is a sensible therapeutic option here and with other problems (e.g. post- operative muscle hypotonia).
Support of the joint functions
Kinesiology taping influences joint biomechanics by balancing agonist and antagonist muscles thus reducing protective muscle-guarding and pain. It can be used to support ligament and tendon function and enhances proprioceptive awareness.
The recoil effect of the VetkinTape, influences the position and elasticity of the skin. Depending on the mobility of the tissue, ‘convolutions’ will be visible. Pain reduction will occur, due to the ‘Gate control mechanism’ and the effect of the tape on the skin and superficial fascia by decompressive forces.
Like the skin, the superficial fascia is affected by the recoil effect of the tape. Due to this pain relief, and the increase in tissue flexibility, helps optimize the function and assists tissue recovery.
Want to learn more about equine kinesiology taping? Book a course
The VetkinTape 2-day Equine kinesiology taping course provides the opportunity to learn about this fascinating and highly effective technique to improve the gait patterns of horses. Candidates will learn more about taping applications and how to use different tape techniques to work more efficiently.