Q: I often see runners with muscles all taped up. Should I invest in kinesiology tape for my sore muscles or can I do without?
A: The intent behind kinesiology tape and the way it actually works are much different things. The tape became really popular in 2008 when it was donated to 58 different countries on time for the Olympic Games. The idea is that it supports injured muscles and joints while still allowing for full motion. Taping muscles is supposed to be effective by lifting skin slightly away from damaged tissues thus increasing blood flow to help repair. Is it better than just using regular tape? Some think so but the reality is that we don’t actually know.
We don’t yet have scientific proof that kinesiology tape does the job it was designed to do. A recent analysis of reports on the tape’s results also supports this. Another study decided to take it a step further. Researchers blindfolded paticipants. They made them exercise with kin tape, regular tape and with none at all. Their results showed that the special tape didn’t actually facilitate muscle performance and that if athletes do report muscles functioning better, the placebo effect is likely to credit.