Since the London 2012 Olympic games many have wondered what that "funky colored" tape was that many athletes from many different countries were wearing was all about. Todays post will be about just that as well as which brands of Kinesio tape I have found to be the most effective.
Kinesio tape really began gaining popularity about 5 years ago when Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings began using it for shoulder issues. She eventually would become an endorsement for the brand KT tape. Today there are many different brands Kinesio being the first to come out of its Japanese origin. Other brands include KT, Spider tech and Rock Tape. There are tons of other brands but these are the main ones I will be focusing on today because I have experience working with all 4 brands. The main goals with Kinesio Tape are to: Support muscular and ligamentous structures, reduce edema or swelling, and aide in proper motion function. The tape uses a heat activated adhesive to bond to the skin. Most tapes will last 3-4 days even with showering or sweating. The tape has a tensile stretch to it which allows the user to have support of the area while still retaining full range of motion to the joint or muscle group. As mentioned above I have used all 4 types of tape for a number of injuries I have sustained during triathlons, cycling events and surf related injuries as well as other recreational activities.
Here is my list of preference in tape for sports injuries:
1. Rock Tape
2. Kinesio tape
3. KT tape
4. Spider tech
My rational for choosing Rock Tape is simple, they have the best quality of product on the market. They do use a stronger adhesive and their tape has more tension meaning it will last longer and you don't have to stretch it as far to get the same result as other tape. I have surfed and showered and had rock tape stay on for 5-7 days. It's a fabulous product! My number 2 is Kinesio brand, they have a great product as well. However, it is not as adhesive and requires more tape and more stretch to get the needed result. The other 2 brands I just do not care for. Spider tech is known for having pre-cut tape so that you don't have to go through the hassle of cutting strips of this stuff however their tape is not always the right size for every person and it falls off pretty easily. KT has just really gone down in quality. I can't get the stuff to stay on for 20 min in an indoor soccer match unless I use an extra spray on adhesive before hand. You can buy the stuff at Target so it's really easy to come by however the quality just isn't there and the price isn't any different either.
Rock tape, KT and Kinesio brand are available on Amazon for about $15-20 per roll of tape.
My recommendation would be to stop by http://rocktape.com/ and pick some up. They often have sales on them. I also will be selling Rock tape in my office and doing Kinesiology taping sessions.
If you are interested I am offering a deal for first time users where if you check in to my Chiropractors in San Clemente Yelp page I will give you a FREE kinesiology tape demo!! It's a great deal to come try it out for yourself.
Here is a video from the rock tape site about how to apply the tape. This should give you an idea of how it works.