Those of you who know your football will probably be aware of, ‘Gareth Bale Tape’! The picture shows Gareth with black tape on his adductor muscles – his inside thighs. This is kinesiology tape (kinesio tape or k-tape). It’s not just footballers who use it, but runners, athletes, cyclists, tennis players – you name it, it can be used on anyone for any sport AND can also be used for non sport related purposes too.
So what does it do?
Invented by a Japanese doctor almost three decades ago, this elastic tape “corrects muscle function, improves circulation of blood and lymph, repositions the joint and relieves pain.” The science is much more involved than that – but it works! It comes in funky blue and hot pink colours, but also black, skin colour and someone was running in the Brighton Marathon with stripey tape!
World Class Athletes & Sports Enthusiasts have become believers: apart from Gareth Bale, we’ve spotted Tom Daley (shoulder), Serena Williams (knee/quads), Lance Armstrong, David Beckham (back), Tiger Woods, Novak Djokovic, James Cracknell (calf). It’s not just for elite athletes though – it’s useful for weekend warriors too!
What does this mean for you?
Morag at The Therapy Lounge is trained in kinesio taping and if you are injured from sport, this is something that she could look at using to help you. She uses it a fair bit on herself for running, cycling, swimming and netball. It feels like second skin and is very supportive. She doesn’t use it all the time but uses it whenever she wants to train hard and feels niggles.
It is not used as a substitute for treatment. It’s used more as another tool in the treatment toolbox and something that can be done at the end of a treatment in order to enhance the work done in that session and to sustain it once you’ve left.
It is waterproof (you can shower, bath and swim with it on) and it can stay on for up to a week – best taken off your skin, SLOWLY, when wet.
That’s it in a nutshell – the science can become quite involved and there is plenty of information on the internet if you’d like to find out more.