K-tape and The Olympic Games

With the 2016 Rio Olympics right around the corner, it is likely we will be seeing a lot of athletes sporting brightly coloured strips of tape. Although Kinesiology Tape (K-tape) has been around for nearly 40 years, there has been a noticeable increase in the number of athletes using the tape in recent years.

So what is K-Tape?

K-tape is an elastic sports tape that is characterised by its ability to stretch up to 140% and identifiable by the wide range of neon colours available. K-tape was conceptualized by Dr Kenzo Kase in the 1970’s with the goal of relieving pain and promoting healing. K-tape exploded in popularity after the 2008 Beijing Olympics where the tape was seen on athletes such as beach volleyball gold medallist Kerri Walsh Jennings. It is now widely used by professional teams such as the Socceroos, the Wallabies, and AFL clubs.

What is it used for?

K-Tape proposed benefits include:

  • Reduce pain
  • Decreased swelling
  • Improve posture
  • Expedite recovery of injured muscles
  • Aid performance

Does it work?

In terms of the research – the jury is still out. For every paper that supports the use of K-tape, there is another that finds no effect.

Physiotherapists strive to provide their patients with the best evidence based practice. This takes into consideration the research, clinical expertise and patient values and preference.

So while there is limited evidence supporting the use of K-tape, there are many clinicians and patients who have seen promising effects.

A few things to keep in mind

  • K-tape doesn’t replace the rest of your rehabilitation
  • K-tape is not suitable for all people or injuries
  • Athletes seen sporting this bright tape may be sponsored by the tape manufacturers

If you think you may benefit from K-tape or have any questions come into the clinic or call us on (08)9335 7733.

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