The Deal With Kinesiology Tape - Help or Hype?
Kinesiology tape has grown in popularity over the years; especially since being seen in use during the Olympics. Many athletes donned colourful pieces of tape on their bodies, but was it all for the show? Or does kinesiology tape serve an actual function? Unfortunately, many people are getting mixed signals about kinesiology tape because of high profile athletes wearing it to promote specific brands.
Kinesiology tape was invented by a Japanese chiropractor named Kenzo Kase back in the ‘70s. Kinesiology tape is claimed to alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, relax muscles, enhance performance and help with rehabilitation. It is also claimed to support muscles during sporting events.
The kinesiology tape is applied to stretch out the target muscle with appropriate tension determined by a therapist. When it is applied, it should lift the skin, which allows for better circulation in and around your muscles. It also helps your brain sense the position, orientation, location and movement of that body part. This is known as proprioception.
So how effective is kinesiology tape, really?
Research has been conducted to determine the benefits of kinesiology tape. One study published in 2014 in the Journal of Physiotherapy researched the effects of kinesiology tape versus no treatment, sham or placebo taping and other interventions.
The study found that kinesiology tape was not any more effective than not taping, sham taping, or other interventions. Another study found that kinesiology taping was no more effective than other traditional pain reduction methods. While there was some feedback from patients stating they felt they had pain relief, it was not clinically meaningful.
Some professional physiotherapists say that kinesiology tape helps their patients be more mindful of their form, which leads to fewer injuries. Other physicians say they see the popularity of kinesiology tape rising, but that the benefits are minor or have a strong placebo effect. But again, they all agree on one thing; that kinesiology tape could be beneficial when it comes to muscle awareness, leading to pain control and muscle recovery.
Maybe the term “mind over matter” can apply here. When we see famous athletes using kinesiology tape on their injuries, maybe the tape helps them get their mind over the pain they are feeling. Maybe kinesiology tape needs further studies in the future to prove its efficacy. Whether or not it is effective, it is here to stay. Since we don’t know for sure (yet) that it is 100% effective and proves its claims, it at least doesn’t do harm to those who do decide to use it.
As with anything, please consult professionals and use products that are backed by good reviews, such as SpiderTech kinesiology tape.