Sports injuries occurs very often. They may be caused either performing professional competitive sports or during a recreational activity. Either way, Kinesio Taping (KT) is a very recommended rehabilitative technique and it’s commonly used to treat numerous conditions including ankle sprains, shoulder tension, hamstring strains, shin splints, knee injuries, tennis elbow, Achilles heel, torticollis, spinal straining, among others. These injuries are frequently accompanied by severe pain which directly leads to functional disturbances. What Kinesio Tape does on these cases is to facilitate the body’s natural healing process.
According to an investigation of the University of Pennsylvania, KT is used for pain reduction related to a musculoskeletal injury. Physical therapists and chiropractors frequently use KT as a long-term treatment for patients who are experiencing pain in a localized area.
Athletes recognize its beneficial effects contributing to its popularity (Mostafavifar, Wertz, & Borchers, 2012; Morris, Jones, Ryan, & Ryan, 2013; Parreira, Costa, Junior, Lopes, & Costa, 2014). Among Kinesio’s biggest supporters is cyclist Lance Armstrong. He exalted the “special hot-pink athletic tape that came from Japan and seemed to have magical powers” on his book Every Second Counts.
Effectiveness of treating sports injuries with Kinesio Taping
In the last decade, researchers have been focused on testing the effectiveness of treating sports injuries with Kinesio Taping due to opinion’s discrepancy related to the success of this technique.
Several experimental studies reports have shown Kinesio Taping beneficial effects, especially on pain management and functional capabilities. Some of the studies supporting the use of KT, and published by the Football Medicine Blog are:
- Thelen, Dauber & Stoneman (2008), studied the effect of a standardized Kinesiology Tape application in subjects with shoulder pain. The authors combined a deltoid and supraspinatus inhibitions together with a posterior mechanical correction of the humeral head,leading to an immediate significant improvement on the active abduction.
- Hsu, Chen, Lin, Wang & Shih (2009), developed a study of the effects of Kinesio Taping in baseball athletes with shoulder dysfunction which reported that,it is possible to increase inferior trapezius electromyography activity applying Kinesio Taping to the inferior trapezius, superior trapezius and serratus anterior.
- Donec & Krisciunas (2014), performed a random control trial (RCT), where they compared a lymphatic correction application with short-stretch-bandage (SSB) in the unilateral breast-cancer-related lymphedema. The trial concluded that the application of Kinesio Taping significantly decreased pain and swelling associated with the invasive intervention, leading to a faster restore of the knee extension ROM. Investigators believe that swelling reduction was due to an improvement in the lymphatic and venous microcirculation speed, through the Kinesio Taping application.
- Tsai, Chang & Lee (2010), studied the effect of a standardized Kinesio Taping application in 52 patients with Plantar Fasciitis. After one week, patients showed significant reduced pain scores and reduced thickness of the plantar fascia at the insertion site compared with the control group.
- Lee & Yoo (2011), applied a tendon correction to the Achilles tendon and over five weeks, they were able to decrease tendon thickness, improve VISA-A questionnaire score, increase pain threshold, and increase the pain-free dorsiflexion and plantar flexion ROM in a badminton player suffering from an Achilles tendinopathy for six months.
- Bae, Lee, Kim & Kim (2014), showed that Kinesio Taping application prior to a muscle-damage induce exercise, is able to decrease the pain associated with the delayed onset muscular soreness (DOMS) compared with a sham tape.
Therefore, is Kinesio Taping a miracle cure? Probably not. But despite that, and as we have learned on this post, there is solid evidence that it can have a positive effect on reducing pain, swelling and improving range of motion on injured athletes and patients after specific surgeries.
Share with us; what’s your experience with KT Tape? Have you tried our Target Tape before? Let us know in the comments below or drop us a note on our Instagram account or Facebook Page. If you need more info just contact us for more or e-mail us at info@TargetTapeUSA.com
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