If you were watching the 2012 Summer Olympics, you saw many athletes walking around with colorful tape applied to various parts of their bodies. Many were experiencing aches and pains, while others just needed a little protective security for muscular support. This trendy looking modality is called Kinesiotape™. In 1973, Dr. Kenzo Kase, a well-known and respected Japanese chiropractor, developed the miraculous tape and formed the Kinesiotaping Association International.
What is the tape useful for? Kinesiotape™ is useful for many acute injuries such as ligament sprains (ankles, knees and hips), muscle strains (epicondylitis, hamstring strain, trochanteric bursitis rotator cuff tears), and is also helpful with lymphatic and myofascial problems. Basically, it can be helpful with most skin and musculoskeletal issues. It has also been useful for joint protection during athletic events as it provides a mental security blanket for some athletes recovering from an injury/surgery/rehab.
What is the property of the tape? Kinesiotape™ is comprised of 100% cotton fibers which allow for evaporation of body moisture. Because the tape lifts the skin from the surface, this also allows for increased blood flow and quicker healing time from injuries. It has been designed to allow for a longitudinal stretch of 40% of its resting length based upon 2 inches of width. But it can stretch up to 60% and its effectiveness can last 3-5 days.
Is it expensive? Kinesiotape™ is inexpensive compared to other tapes. A normal roll that is 16.5’ long costs about $12 a roll, while Rocktape costs $18-20 for the same size roll.
How does it work? One of the unique qualities of Kinesiotape™ is that it can be used for all stages of injury from initial (acute), to subacute, chronic, and to rehabilitation stages of clinical presentations. Dr. Kase believed the elastic therapeutic tape should mimic the qualities of the skin, so he designed the tape to stretch between 40-60% of its resting length, which is approximately the stretch capability of the skin in areas such as the knee and cervical spine. The tape is applied to the selected structure of choice and will mimic the movement without restriction of that particular region.
Are there other tapes on the market that provide the same effect? Rock tape, KT Tape and Spidertech are the 3 most popular brands on the market. However, Kinesiotape™ is the only company with a multilevel practitioner program on education and proper application of the tape. Research (although limited to 98 studies over 40 years) has shown great benefits and use of the tape for inflammation and support. The unique qualities of the tape: 1) that it allows for quick absorption of sweat, and bonding time to the structure; 2) the wearability of up to 5 days; and 3) the fact that it does not limit motion, make Kinesiotape™ the choice of champions!
Michael Butler is co-owner of Kinetix Health and Performance Center and can be reached at (760) 200.1719 or at [email protected].