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What is the difference between Functional Fascial Taping and Kinesiotaping?

[by Jasper Smeenge] Since a few years we organize the 2 day Functional Fascial Taping course with Ron Alexander (Au). This effective tape technique is less well known than kinesiotaping. What’s exactly is the difference between these two ways of taping? 
The goal: FFT ® is a rapid and effective way to relief pain, assist in function and allow rehabilitation and training to commence in a pain free environment. Clinically, FFT® can also be used to determine soft tissue dysfunction with a high degree of accuracy. The focus is especially on the fascial system. Fascia has 3 relevant characteristics:

  • It is connective tissue
  • It is prone to ''load''
  • it contains mechanoreceptors and neural tissue

The tape technique has 2 main components – Assessment and Application.

The assessment: the procedure follows the standard clinical processes of test, intervene and re-test. This procedure is guided by the patient’s symptoms and allows for continual reassessment as symptoms decrease. This test has pain specific direction variability. It’s important that the assessment intervention is performed in the pain provocative position and is determined by the optimal direction of ease. It is a systematic process distracting the skin and underlying tissue, with a graded tangential force directly over the pain. Then whilst still in that range and with positive change, we observe if an increase in range of motion is possible. The right direction takes in a number of factors and multiple vectors can be used. See some examples of different vectors below in the picture:

The Application:  The Tape application aims to create a graded load or tension to tissues and employs a gathering technique to directly tighten the skin and the tissue below to change the tissue slack and to possibly affect the deeper structures. Another difference compare to kinesiotaping is the use of brown rigid tape. Also the width is half the standard size of 38mm, halving it makes the tape tighter.  Besides that we can use more layers of tape over each other. This increases force and creates more pressure, in this case the pressure is tension. Resulting in greater load on the tissues, this aims to offer a specific vector force away from the pain, in the direction predetermined by the assessment. The application may sound like it may decrease range of motion, however it does not, and it actually has a fascilatory effect on range of motion in most cases. After these 2 stages are performed  there will be pain relief and changed tension and load to tissues during daily (exercise) activities.

I attended the first course we organized and I have to say that I was surprised how this way of taping can affect and influence pain! Because of this change, you get a different way of looking at structures as a pain generator. It is often times not the way you think it is or suspect, I've noticed.


Want to know more? At March 19 and 20 we organize this exiting course again at FITPRO Institute in Laren, The Netherlands. Learn more here!


Related to seminar category: Functional Fascial Taping
Posted on 21-02-2014 in Inspiration