Behind the Tape: A Miracle or a Myth?

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by MATT SMITH | ART, FMS, CPT, CES

Form & function: While noticed for its looks, kinesiology tape also aids in recovery, lymphatic drainage, and increased performance.
You see the tape all over the place: that second, more fashionable set of skin that produces colorful designs of support on athletes across the CrossFit landscape. As cool as the tape looks, it is often accompanied with questions of why and how it actually works… or if it even works at all! In the next few paragraphs, I will address some of the ideas and research supporting the kinesiology tape that has taken the CrossFit world — among many others — by storm.

Aside from the aesthetic appeal of the tape itself, there is a tremendous upside to utilizing kinesiology tape. Whether you are looking for recovery, lymphatic drainage, or increased performance, kinesiology taping can be a central piece in the puzzle of optimal performance.

Leading Brands of Kinesiology Tape

RockTape

One of many: Although Rock Tape is currently popular, KT Tape & SpiderTech are other kinesiology tape options.
As the newest kid on the block, RockTape has a much different philosophy towards taping methods than any other brand of tape. Their brand of taping is meant to support movements, not merely muscles. This is a very similar mindset to that of CrossFit, where muscles are not the primary focus during training and rehab; rather, movement patterns are the central focus.

From personal and professional experience, I have found that RockTape stays on much longer than any other brand. Although they are a relatively new brand, they have made a huge splash in athletic communities across the board, due to their innovative approach to their product and application.

KT Tape

Short for “Kinesiology Tape,” KT Tape  has been around for quite some time and has been the leader among professional athletes in the past. How does it work?

KT Tape is applied along muscles, ligaments, and tendons (soft tissue) to provide a lightweight, strong, external support that helps to prevent injury and speed recovery. KT Tape works differently for different injuries. KT Tape can lift and support the knee cap, holding it in place for Runner’s Knee. KT Tape can support sagging muscles along the arch of the foot, relieving the connective tissues for Plantar’s Fasciitis. And KT Tape can lift the stress off of shin splints to allow pain release and give the body a better opportunity to recover. Depending on how it is applied, KT Tape supports, enables, or restricts soft tissue and its movement. By stretching and recoiling like a rubber band, KT Tape augments tissue function and distributes loads away from inflamed or damaged muscles and tendons, thereby protecting tissues from further injury.

By applying KT Tape over affected tissue, athletes experience an external support which helps to prevent further injury and allows the body’s damaged tissue to rest and heal naturally despite continued activity. KT Tape also reduces inflammation and increases circulation which prevents muscle cramping and lactic acid buildup.

SpiderTech

Well known for their pre-cut tape for different body parts. This brand is used for its easy applicability by health care providers all over. Take a peek into how this tape reduces inflammation below.

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