Typical athletic tape is rigid with a weak adhesive. Often lasting only minutes before either the adhesive wears out or the tape is stretched. Most traditional athletic taping techniques work by trying to replicated the function of ligaments and this has been shown to be ineffective. Think about it, you can rip athletic tape with your hands and ligaments have a tensile strength close to steel, that’s like trying to stop an elephant with a white picket fence.
Modern research shows that the value of taping comes from the feedback, not the actual structural support provided by the tape. Kinesiotape is elastic, just like your skin so it moves with you. It’s highly adhesive so it stays with you. It even has water channels to let you sweat and shower with it on.
Kinesiotape has been shown to
- be of some assistance to clinicians in improving pain-free active ROM immediately after tape application for patients with shoulder pain.1.
- provide immediate improvements in pain and range of motion of patients with whiplash associated symptoms2.
- increase the activity and peak torque of a muscle (specifically medial quadriceps in this study) for 24-72 hours after application3.
1. Thelen. The Clinical Efficacy of Kinesio Tape for Shoulder Pain: A Randomized, Double-Blinded, Clinical Trial. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy (2008) pp. 7
2. González-Iglesias et al. Short-term effects of cervical kinesio taping on pain and cervical range of motion in patients with acute whiplash injury: a randomized clinical trial. The Journal of orthopaedic and sports physical therapy (2009) vol. 39 (7) pp. 515-21
3. Słupik et al. Effect of Kinesio Taping on bioelectrical activity of vastus medialis muscle. Preliminary report. Ortopedia, traumatologia, rehabilitacja (2007) vol. 9 (6) pp. 644-51