Many of you will have seen sports competitors be they Olympic runners, Tour de France cyclists or rugby players with brightly coloured tape around their knees, shoulders or thighs. Is this just a fashion statement or is there something behind the hype?
Manufacturers of the different highly coloured brands make all lots of claims about their products. For example, claims include:
• Supports the muscle – Proper taping improves the muscle’s ability to contract even when it’s weakened, reduces a feeling of pain and fatigue, and protects the muscle from cramping, over-extension and over-contraction.
• Removing congestion to the flow of body fluids – Kinesiology tape improves blood and lymphatic circulation and reduces inflammation and excess chemical buildup in the tissue.
• Activating the endogenous analgesic system – “Endogenous” refers to something that is self-originating, and calling something “analgesic” means that it can relieve pain in a conscious person. So, this requirement means that the tape must facilitate the body’s own healing mechanisms, a central focus in chiropractic medicine.
• Correcting joint problems – The goal is improving range of motion and adjusting misalignments that result from tightened muscles.
Unfortunately, there is little or no scientific evidence for the above claims but I have found it personally useful and continue to use it for my patients – in moderation. As with my earlier blog about foam rolling to a degree it is about perception of pain. If you can reduce the perception of pain and this then enables you to move with less tension, then you will move better. Moving in a fluid natural pattern surely is the goal of any Therapy as this encourages normal physiology and repair.
Personally, I have found Kinesiotaping, not always, but some times helpful. When applied correctly it gives a sense that the area is supported and helps decelerate the loading across a joint or muscle.
There are hundreds of videos on You Tube on how to apply the Tape. You can apply the tape yourself but probably the first time I would suggest you see a Therapist to get a diagnosis and advice. There is an art to applying the tape and it is important to think about how to make the taping specific to you and your needs.
For more information on kinesiotherapy taping or to book an appointment in Bridgnorth or Shrewsbury, please call 01746 761050.