Have you been watching the Olympics this year?
We are college touring (my son is a senior) and vacationing for the entire two weeks so I have only been catching the sports I love at the end of the day or via Sirius XM!
What are your favorite events?
Mine are gymnastics, beach volleyball and soccer. This year I did get into the swimming a bit too! Wow, we have some phenomenal athletes! #TeamUSA.
Another sport I have been following is mixed doubles Badminton!?! I know kinda random but . . . a former PT Aide that I worked with is an Olympian in this sport! I am so proud of her just being an Olympian and Athlete. She posted a picture of herself on Instagram using gradient compression pumps on her legs for recovery 🙂
In addition, Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross are sporting their kinesiotape and Michael Phelps has had cupping. What’s that you ask?? Stay tuned below for a link to my colleague’s blog post!
All of this had me thinking . . . I kinesiotape a few of my athletes for competition and many people come to ask me on the sideline “Does that stuff really work? What does it do??”
So here’s the scoop . . .
What is kinesiotaping?
Kinesiotaping is a technique used by Physical Therapist, Athletic Trainers, and Athletes to improve muscle performance or decrease pain during sport. It can also be used to decrease swelling in certain circumstances. It is a light elastic tape that is applied to the body to facilitate or inhibit muscles or move swelling. It is not rigid and therefore allows the body to move through its full range of motion during sport.
Does it really work?
Most medical research says there is no significant difference between use of tape and other treatments BUT . . . Athletes say YES it totally works! Ultimately, you need to decide for yourself. Ask your Physical Therapist if kinesiotaping is appropriate for your problem and if so have him/her tape that area to see if it helps ~ reduce pain, swelling, make moving easier.
What does kinesiotaping do?
- For use on muscles, the tape gives your body signals to either use a muscle more or less.
- For reduction of swelling the tape lifts the skin and fascia to create movement of the fluid so it drains away from the swollen area.
- For pain it lifts the skin and fascia to decrease the pressure on a muscle that is in spasm.
How do I know what kind of tape to buy?
Your Physical Therapist may be able to recommend the tape that is best for you. The major differences between the brands are patterns of wave forms, color options, and adhesive none of which affects the function of the tape but each person will have different preferences in brand of tape so use which every you like best!
Are they side effects?
- You can have skin sensitivity reactions such as itching, redness, and the like.
- If worn for many hours after sweating it can cause a rash from trapped sweat under the tape.
- If you have latex allergies the tape may irritate your skin.
- If the tape is close to the neck, head, armpit or back of the knee you can have dizziness, nausea and a general feeling of not being right ~ if this happens it will happen within 5 minutes of applying the tape, REMOVE THE TAPE IMMEDIATELY and the symptoms should be reduced greatly if not gone within 5 minutes. Kinesiotape should never be applied in the armpit or back of the knee.
Can I tape myself?
Yes . . . But, you will want to know what to tape and how to tape it. Speak to your Physical Therapist about your specific issue. There are lots of YouTube videos available to teach you how to tape yourself but to avoid injury, and understand the purpose of taping, make sure they are done by reliable sources. Better yet check with your PT.
Do you have any Kinesiotaping stories to share? Comment below!
Did I answer all your questions? If not comment below or email me . . . firstname.lastname@example.org
Look forward to hearing from you! Be well, Roxi