Our athletes and sporting figures are often spotted wearing logos and motifs. But what’s this bright blue tape we keep spotting?
No, it’s not some fashion statement or fad. Instead, it’s being hailed as an effective natural cure to help mend sporting injuries.
If you were observant enough you’ll have already noticed Serbian tennis star, Novak Djokovic wearing Kinesio tape on his ailing elbow during the Wimbledon championships. And football fans may have seen the three tramlines of the sticky stuff on the back of Italian striker Mario Balotelli during the Euro 2012 competition.
Although it may seem like a new idea, the Japanese tape has in fact been around since the 1970s.
It is the brainchild of Dr Kenzo Kase who reveals that he came up with the idea because he found that standard taping techniques such as conventional strapping, too restrictive for his patients.
This may provide support for the muscles and joints, he says. But it limits movement and therefore gets in the way of the healing process by restricting the flow of inflammatory fluids below the skin.
Kinesio tape, on the other hand, lifts the skin to help the lymphatic flow, which in turn reduces pain and swelling. Despite studies into the effectiveness of the tape, Dr Kase acknowledges that some people are still cynical about Kinesio tape and recognises that only more solid scientific evidence will silence the cynics.
However, for many sportsmen and women, it seems that they are sticking with this natural cure. Perhaps we will see it appearing at the Olympics?
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