Kinesio tape – Not just for Olympians!

Have you ever wondered what is that crazy looking tape seen on professional athletes and Olympians? And if you have you probably had subsequent thoughts such as does it really work and how?

Kinesio tape, a strong fabric tape with elasticity comparable to skin, was developed more than 30 years ago by Japanese chiropractor, Dr. Kenzo Kase. He discovered that the application of the tape reproduced some of the beneficial effects of manual therapy – such as massage – in reducing pain and soreness for injured patients. It also added a benefit of gentle support while letting full or close to full joint range of motion occur.

A common problem for runners is a mistracking kneecap; Kinesio tape can stretch and contract, inhibiting damaging movements but allowing the right kind. Runners can continue to train even when they have a problem. Where we used to say, ‘You can’t run until I see you next week,’ we are now applying the tape and keeping people running between sessions. Speaking from Japan, Kase has a more encompassing view of his tape’s benefits. Space, flow and cooling are, he explains, his basic concepts. He believes the source of many joint and muscle pains lies in the thin layer of skin between the epidermis and the dermis. Conventional therapies compress these areas. “I needed to create something to lift these layers.” The tape, he claims, opens the space between the epidermis and dermis, enabling a better flow of blood and lymphatic fluids. Through this flow, the body loses excessive heat that can damage it. A special wave pattern on the sticky side of the tape allows this phenomenon to occur.

A randomized double-blind clinical trial in 2008 found Kinesio tape produced an immediate improvement in range of motion when treating shoulder pain, compared with a sham tape. A study of whiplash patients found Kinesio tape provided pain relief and an improved range of motion, which continued a day later.

Whether you are a weekend warrior, an olympic athlete, or simply combating an injury, Kinesio Tape could be a treatment that brings forth your olympic performance. With years in sports medicine, Dr. Dallas has been working with Kinesio tape for well over a decade.

Ask Dr. Dallas at your next office visit if Kinesio tape could be of assistance for you!

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