One common question that I was asked during the summer Olympics was: “What is with the tape that so many of the athletes were wearing?”
The colourful tape that the athletes were wearing is called kinesiotape. This tape has been around for several years, but is definitely gaining popularity. It is a thin adhesive tape that is porous, waterproof, and can be stretched to 140% of its original length. The exact mechanism of how kinesiotape helps to reduce pain and improve range of motion is unknown. It is theorized that the tape provides feedback to the neurological system thereby reducing the irritation on soft tissues (muscles specifically).
The real question is: does kinesiotape actually work? The research supporting kinesiotape is limited, though it is increasing with further study. There is some evidence for the use of kinesiotape for patella dislocations, muscular pain, shoulder pain, trunk pain, and in acute whiplash injuries.
A recent study in JOSPT (Hernandez at al. 2012) found that people with neck pain benefitted similarly with kinesiotape and neck manipulation techniques. People receiving either of these techniques reported less pain, and had increased range of motion.
If you are suffering from neck pain or any other condition and wonder if kinesiotape is for you, give us a call and come see one of our exceptionally trained physiotherapists. Our therapists are skilled in taping, manual therapy, exercise prescription, acupuncture, and more. We would be happy to help you determine the fastest and most effective way to get you healthy!