“KT tape allows me to compete at my peak”
The Olympics have probably been the talk of every town in every country for the last few weeks! If you have been watching you have probably noticed the brightly neon colored tape jobs many of the athletes are sporting. K tape or KT tape has become commonplace at this event.
Developed by a Japanese chiropractor, K tape or KT tape was introduced in the kinesiology taping field and is being used for many injuries such as knee pain, shoulder pain, shin splints and tennis elbow. It has some unique features that are making its popularity grow. It is water-resistant and breathable, which enables users to wear it comfortably. The elastic behavior of K tape or KT tape makes it comparable to human muscles.
This tape can be worn for stability or support for joints, providing targeted pain relief, relieving pressure and increasing circulation. The lightweight cotton sheathes are embedded into weft yam which allows the tape to stretch 140% in length, but not in width. Therefore, motion is not restricted drastically as 140% is the same elasticity as human skin.
K tape or KT tape can be worn comfortably up to five days, but generally works best for 2-3. Its mesh allows moisture to escape, so sweating does not take away the effectiveness. It can also be worn in water!
The trick is, KT tape (or K tape) is applied using various techniques for various injuries. It is applied along the muscles, ligaments and tendons or around an injured muscle or joint. Different kinesio taping techniques may include lifting the stress off of shin splints, supporting sagging muscles along the arch for Plantar Fasciitis or holding the knee cap in place for Runner’s Knee. The tape both restricts and supports the movement of soft tissue.
Beach volleyball player and now three-time Olympic Gold Medalist for the United States, Kerri Walsh, endorses KT tape. She said “Kinesiology tape allows me to compete at my peak, even when I’m injured. I switched to KT Tape because it is hands-down the highest quality, most durable and comfortable kinesiology tape that I’ve ever found. I wouldn’t play without it!”
Dr. Jennifer Solomon of New York City’s Hospital for Special Surgery said, “It’s all over the Olympics, athletes love it.” But Dr. Dennis Cardone, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center in New York doesn’t know if it really does all the company claims it does. “It might have some small role in the rehab process, but without evidence, we can’t say it’s doing anything near what the company claims or what athletes using it say they feel.”
However, the traffic for KT tape’s website has been up 1,000% since the start of the Olympics, so people are definitely looking into it. Plus, over 100,000 athletic trainers worldwide have expanded their knowledge on the product by taking a paid Kinesio taping course.
Whatever K tape or KT tape does, it seems to be working for the athletes at the games. Preventing further injury, allowing the damaged tissues to heal despite continued activity, reducing inflammation, and increasing circulation, which in turn prevents muscle cramping and lactic acid buildup, are all things these athletes are searching for during competition. Guess we’ll just have to try it ourselves to see!