The Art of Taping

Today, if you turn on the TV to watch a sports event or scroll through Facebook to see pictures from a game, you’ll see athletes with bright strips of tape on different parts of their body. This is called KT Tape (or physio/rock tape). It’s an extremely controversial method of rehab in the athletics world. There’s been a lot of research done and it’s proven that taping both works and doesn’t work. So I thought I would break it down. There has been research done to show that there is an ‘ingredient’ in the tape that pulls your skin away from your muscles, allowing an increase in oxygen and blood flow to the muscle for faster recovery and longer muscle endurance. The material used to make the tape has the same elasticity as human skin, allowing the muscle tissue to move comfortably even when taped. On the flip side, there are many people saying that they have tried KT tape and that it has never worked. For me, I’ve been using KT tape for the last 3 1/2 years, and it has been my savior. I have used it on multiple parts of my body for many different injuries including my shoulders, back and ankle. I use it the most on my shoulders since I am a swimmer and have done damage to my rotator cuffs, and I really notice the difference. Not only does it seem to prevent further injury, but when I’m swimming with the tape on, I notice that my shoulders don’t hurt as much and don’t tire as easily. The same on my back. I used it on my ankle after a really bad sprain, and it helped to stabilize my ankle and increase the amount of time I could put pressure on it. So whether it really truly works or if it just the placebo effect, I will continue to use KT Tape because it is helping my performance. As an athlete, I will do anything I possibly can to increase my muscle endurance, prevent injury, and quicken the healing process of injuries, so there is absolutely no reason any athlete out there shouldn’t give KT Tape a shot. The worse thing that could happen is nothing at all. So give it a try and let me know how it goes!

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