Kinesiology taping, was developed in the 1970s by Japanese chiropractor – Kenzo. The tape can help take pressure off overused muscles, reduce swelling and alleviate pain from injuries. Scientific evidence is mixed, but clinicians say it seems to work—at least in the short term. Unlike standard athletic taping, which often involves wrapping a joint for support and compression, the tape is placed in a variety of patterns depending on the injury
The bright-colored strips of tape in odd patterns are increasingly being seen on professional and recreational athletes. Since then many different companies have now developed their own brand of colourful taping that assists in the following:
It is pulled to differing degrees of tension to create the desired effect and is typically worn for two to five days, unlike standard tape, which is used mainly during an activity.
The tape reduces swelling in a joint, and can be used to pull up the skin and create an area of low pressure where fluid can move and drain.
It assists in postural modification by taping to pull back a shoulder that is hunching forward.
Tape can be applied along the length of a tired muscle for support, decreasing the movement and contraction allowing the muscle to “rest” for a day or two in order to facilitate the healing process.
Some clinicians believe the tape provides stimulation to skin cells that affects pain pathways. Similar to rubbing a spot that hurts.
It is beneficial as a short term treatment allowing athletes to complete their training, enhance performance and reach their desired goal.
Recent studies on Kinesio tape showed some short-term effect. A study of 42 patients with shoulder pain, published in 2008 in the Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy, found that range of motion improved immediately after application of kinesiology tape, compared with a sham taping using no tension.
Last year, a study on 41 patients with whiplash after car accidents found statistically significant pain relief and improvements in range of motion with taping compared with traditional tape. The effects were seen immediately and continued a day later.