One of the interesting side benefits of parenting two kiddos with special needs is all the fascinating little hints, tips and helps along the way. I had no idea there was even such an animal as a hearing aid drying chamber until 4 of 8 began sporting those little hearing devices. I have a little tool that almost looks like a stethoscope for Polly Dolls but is actually used for checking the sound output and quality of 4’s hearing aids.
7 of 8’s recovery from a neonatal stroke has also proven a treasure trove of fascinating insights into neurology, brain rewiring, strength exercises and the like. One item I have fallen in love with as we have worked with both 7 of 8 in her therapy sessions and 4 of 8 in her time post-surgery from tarsal coalition is something called kinesiotape. Rather than use traditional ace bandages to give the girls extra support in weakened muscle areas, the kinesiotape gives a sense of support and strength without inhibiting range of motion and flexibility. 7 of 8 is usually taped every week, with a variety of designs, sometimes on her left hand and forearm, sometimes helping hold her scapula in a better position, and most lately on her left foot and calf as we facilitate a better position for that limb as she continues her quest to walk.
Turns out that 4 of 8 and 7 of 8 are in good company. Lance Armstrong has used this type of tape in his training and riding. Kerri Walsh wore it during the Olympics during her volleyball matches. And my little physical therapy athletes have certainly seen the benefits.
The girls’ therapist has now attended several training seminars on using the kinesiotape and has developed some great applications. I’m starting to play with it some as I always seem to be nursing some running injury.
So the next time you see a major athlete or just a little kid at the park with bright pink or black or red tape applied to one of their limbs or joints, you can thank me. You’ll be in the know, seeing the latest, greatest innovations in helping the body move and recuperate.
It’s a beautiful thing.