During the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, the volleyball player Kerri Walsh wore a black bandage on her shoulder. Known as a neuromuscular bandage, physiotherapists use it as an alternative method to the traditional white athletic band. This is administered in very specific positions to reduce pain and provide support to athletes. However, the neuromuscular band has uses outside the world of sport, including in helping breast cancer patients improve the flow of lymphatic fluid throughout the body.
Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase invented the neuromuscular bandage and the neuromuscular bandage method in the early 1980s as a means to provide support without restricting movement. While the Walsh version was black, the band comes in a variety of colors. The band's texture is soft and has elastic abilities to stretch at 120 percent and 140 percent of its original length, according to Dehen Chiropractic, a chiropractic job that uses the neuromuscular bandage.
The neuromuscular bandage was invented as an alternative to the white athletic band, according to "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette." The traditional athletic band is used to restrict muscle movement, the neuromuscular band is designed for movement, which means that specific bandage techniques must be used. For Walsh's case, the bandage was to support an injured shoulder muscle. To achieve this, the bandage is stretched from where the muscle begins to where it ends. Pieces of bandage are then superimposed on each other for support. To prevent a muscle from moving, the bandage is applied in the opposite direction: from where the muscle ends up to where it penetrates.
Period of time
Once applied, the neuromuscular bandage is designed to remain for three to five days. You can shower with the bandage on or swim with it without it falling off. Because the bandage is designed to be soft and feel like a second skin, it should not feel restrictive while wearing it.
For athletes, the neuromuscular bandage presents a non-restrictive alternative such as the traditional white bandage and can be used for injuries, muscle dysfunction and areas of pain and inflammation. The bandage is considered to have applications in the treatment of cerebral palsy, in carpal tunnel syndrome and in the condition of standing plantar fasciitis, according to the "Pittsburgh Post-Gazette." Because the application of the bandage is as important as the use of the bandage itself, you may need a physical therapist or the supervision of a doctor for the initial bandage to make sure you are using the neuromuscular bandage correctly.