London, August 3 (ANI): Athletic tape made in every colour under the sun seems to be the latest must-have sports injury treatment at London Olympics 2012.
Called Kinesio tape and developed by a Japanese doctor more than 30 years ago, the adhesive strapping is designed to provide muscle and joint support without restricting movement.
According to Kinesio’s product website, it is also designed to be used with a particular taping technique – a skill practitioners need to learn on a special training course.
More than 4,000 people in Britain are now trained in the art of Kinesio taping, it says, and many of them look after some of the country’s top sportsmen and women.
However, compared with its ubiquity on the track, court, pitch and field, rigorous scientific research on Kinesio tape is scant. Indeed, a handful of research papers suggest its ability to relieve pain or improve muscle strength is limited.
“Kinesio tape may be of some assistance to clinicians in improving pain-free active range of movement immediately after tape application for patients with shoulder pain,” the Daily Mail quoted scientists in one study as saying.
However, the researchers added their findings did not support the use of Kinesio tape for decreasing pain intensity or disability in patients with shoulder problems.
In a review of all the scientific research so far, published in the Sports Medicine journal in February, researchers found ‘little quality evidence to support the use of Kinesio tape over other types of elastic taping in the management or prevention of sports injuries’.
Kevin Anderson, managing director of Kinesio UK, which supplies the tape in Britain and trains people in how to apply it, says the scientific research has yet to catch up with what athletes and physiotherapists say about the tape’s benefits.
Whatever the science, German beach volleyball player Sara Goller sported two long pink strips of the tape on her left leg during matches on Tuesday, while her partner Laura Ludwig had two vertical blue strips on her stomach.
The study was published in the Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physiotherapy. (ANI)