If you saw last night’s NCAA Championship game, we’re sure you gasped as Kentucky’s Alex Poythress (#22) leaped over Connecticut’s Lasan Kromah(#20) or reveled in the moment Kentucky’s James Young (#1) dunked over two Huskies. But if you were watching the game closely, especially during Connecticut’s awe in their 60-54 victory, you might have noticed something on the back of Shabazz Napier (#13).
It’s called Kinesio Tape. You might have seen some of your favorite athletes wearing it. Or maybe you’ve seen it on someone at your local gym. It’s getting more and more popular. But what is it exactly?
Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase created this taping method in 1979 which focuses on gently lifting the layer of skin and attached tissue covering a muscle so that blood and other body fluids can move more freely in and around that muscle. In simpler terms, it was developed to improve circulation, reduce pain, and speed up the healing process.
Although Kinesio Tape has been seen all over television, there are others who don’t believe in it:
- “There’s insufficient evidence.” (Journal of PT Theory and Practice 2013)
- “It may provide improvement with non-weight bearing movement patterns.” (International Journal of Exercise Science 2012)
- “No effect.” (International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy 2013)
However, just because there’s no scientific support doesn’t quite mean it won’t help. Its effect is questionable and in today’s environment of evidence-based practice, it may be a tough sell – despite the eye-catching colors and elite athletes looking cool with it on.
So what are your thoughts on Kinesio Tape? Have you tried it and did it work for you? Comment below or feel free to contact your top Bellevue physical therapist at BBJP.