Athletes are often now seen with strips of brightly-colored sports medicine tape on their arms, legs and torso – and not just as a fashion statement. Known as Kinesio tape, the athletic tape was invented by Kenzo Kase, a Japanese chiropractor, in the 1970s as a simple, effective tool for alleviating pain, reducing inflammation, and relaxing muscles.
The claimed result: an easy, affordable way for athletes to enjoy enhanced performance and better muscle support.
But is Kinesio tape just hype, or is it actually helpful?
Kinesio can be helpful, but should not take the place of long-term treatment options. With that said, many athletes, physiotherapists, and sports medicine practitioners swear by its efficacy in pain alleviation, inflammation reduction, and muscle relaxation when the tape is applied in the right manner at the right places for the right duration.
Pain relief can be expected in 24-48 hours, and a broad range of athletes – from the older bodybuilder with lower back pain to the young athlete with anterior knee pain – report satisfaction.
Kinesio tape also appears to help in enhancing blood circulation and lactic movement in the muscles by reducing friction between the skin tissues, and allowing for better movement of lymphatic fluid. In this way, the tape helps to stimulate, relax and tone down muscles.
Kinesio tape should not be used for more serious muscle conditions since it is designed to provide for only surface-level problems. Athletes should also allow someone with qualifications, such as physiotherapists, to apply the tape or teach them proper application.
Learn more about Kinesio tape by talking to a Healthpointe physical therapist today!
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