K Tape – fad or fab?

From Mario Balotelli’s back to Novak Djokovic’s elbow, it seems that suddenly you can’t get away from pictures of athletes sporting brightly coloured tape on their bodies.

But what exactly is it and what’s its purpose? Well the makers of Kinesio tape say it gives players an edge by mending injuries.

Others aren’t so sure and point to the lack of any real scientific evidence to support this claim and suggest that a placebo effect may be taking place.

Although it might seem like a new idea, the tape has been around for over forty years and its Japanese inventor Dr Kenzo Kase says he came up with the design because he found standard taping techniques, like conventional strapping, too restrictive for his patients.

Kinesio tape is different, he says, because it lifts the skin to assist this lymphatic flow, which, in turn, reduces pain and swelling.

Whether a placebo or genuine performance enhancer and injury preventative, one thing is certain – you are going to see an awful lot more of it in the coming months.

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