The tape that has dominated the Olympic Games…
You may have noticed a fair amount of athletes at the London 2012 Olympics coated in colored tape. The thick stripes might be bright blue, pink, black or beige. They cover everything from shoulders and backs to abs and quads. Japanese chiropractor and acupuncturist Kenzo Kase designed the taping method in 1979. Kinesiotape is known to have many properties including an ability to reduce pain, swelling and muscle spasms, as well as reducing the risk of sports injuries.
But the question remains: Does the bright coloured stretchy tape really give athletes a physical edge?
In contrast to other taping techniques, Kinesiotape does not restrict the movement of the skin, joints or muscles; instead it encourages the body’s own healing mechanism. It is an air permeable and waterproof tape that can be worn for numeral days, made out of a high cotton material and has the thickness and flexibility of the skin. Kinesiotape differs from traditional white sports tape by its wave like grain design, providing up to a 140% pulling force to the skin.
In recent studies, it has been reported that Kinesiotape may have a capability for assisting in muscle strengthening and correcting muscle function. This was evident in a study by Fu et al. (2008) where the immediate and delayed effects of Kinesiotape on muscle strength in the quadriceps and hamstrings were examined.
Whether or not the tape helps with the reduction in pain during sporting activities, we have seen some definite improvements when using it on our patients.