Whatever sport you watch you have probably seen competitors with multi-coloured tape on some part of their body, be it leg, back, shoulder, arm, etc… Ever wondered what it is? Is it a fashion statement for athletes or is it actually helping them? Well…
Firstly what is it?
The colourful tape you usually see is called Kinesiology tape. It is a light, stretchy, durable and breathable adhesive tape.
What does it do?
The stretch of the tape gently lifts the skin creating space between the muscle and dermis (skin) layer, this small gap is thought to ease the pressure build up from injuries and allow blood to flow more easily. Kinesiology tape provides support to injured areas without restricting the range of motion. The slight tension on the tape may help the athlete to become more aware of their joint movements (proprioception) and therefore prevent them overexerting which can cause prolonged recovery time.
What injuries or problems is it used for?
Kinesiology tape can be used to relieve pain, to provide support, proprioceptive stimulation to prevent over-stretching of injured muscles and to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Kinesiology tape has over 1200 applications including; lower back pain, shin splints, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, rotator cuff injuries, tennis elbow, knee pain (patellar tracking), hamstring strain, ITBS (Iliotibial Band Syndrome) and many more!
Kinesiology tape isn’t just for use by athletes either it can be used by almost everyone.
Here’s where things get a bit tricky – there isn’t a whole lot of evidence out there raving about Kinesiology tape although some research does show that using tape is better than not using tape…stay with me here…
Let’s look at the practice based evidence (the people), millions of people are using this tape all over the world, it’s used at the Olympics, in International rugby, by athletes and unsporting people alike. Why? Because it makes them feel better, they feel less pain and they feel supported not restricted. So I think it’s safe to say that this many people wouldn’t be continuing to use it if they didn’t feel it had any benefit to them.
If you think you could benefit from Kinesiology tape or are unsure and want to know more come and speak to us at the clinic or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org