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Therapeutic Taping for Kids with Hemiplegia

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Therapeutic Taping

While watching the Olympics this summer, you may have noticed athletes wearing brightly-colored tape on their skin at competitions. The same tape these athletes wear to enhance their performance can be used by children with hemiplegia to normalize their posture and encourage more symmetrical movement patterns. For example, a therapist might put some flexible kinesiology tape on a child’s wrist to remind them to keep it in an extended or supinated position. More rigid taping techniques may be used in lieu of a splint to keep a child’s thumb out of their palm and improve ease of grasp and release.

While many therapists and athletes find taping an effective and well-tolerated intervention, evidence to support the use of therapeutic taping is limited to a few case reports or small cohort studies without control groups. In addition, taping can cause skin irritation and cannot be used when a person has an adhesive allergy. Because of these precautions, and to ensure optimal response, taping programs should be initiated under the supervision of your child’s therapy team. Therapists can then provide training to caregivers to allow them to use taping techniques at home. 

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