What Is The Colorful Tape Olympic Athletes Are Wearing?


If you have been watching the Rio Olympics over the past week you have no doubt noticed countless athletes adorned in colorful body tape, better known as Kinesio Tape.  Some athletes have even gone so far as to have their country printed on the tape itself.  Although it may be colorful and patriotic, the purpose of this tape is more than just decorative.

How does it work?

Developed in the 1970’s, Kinesio Tape is used to relieve the pain for sports injuries such as sprains, strains or muscle injuries.  According to advocates for Kinesio Tape, the durable and adherent fiber material is used to lift the top layer of skin away from the injured muscle.  By lifting these layers away from the sore muscle athletes can experience several hours of pain relief.  In most cases, you will see athletes using it on areas most often associated with sports injuries such as their shoulders, lower back and knees.

Is it effective?

The effectiveness and science behind Kinesio Tape is still up for debate as little research has been produced on the topic and many experts are skeptical.  However, many Olympians seem to swear by it and won’t compete without it.

While preventing injury by isolating these areas of with tape or bracing is common practice, the specific efficacy of Kinesio Tape is not yet proven.  In fact, a 2012 report in the journal Sports Medicine 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.”

For the regular athlete or weekend warrior, the best thing to do if you are dealing with a sports injury is to consult a specialist to discuss the best course of treatment.

New York Bone and Joint Specialists is a top rated, private Orthopedic and Sports Medicine practice in with locations in New York City, Hoboken and Englewood, NJ. The Orthopedic Surgery, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Pain Management specialists routinely perform surgical and non-surgical treatments for professional athletes from across the United States and various other countries.

Dr. Leon Popovitz and Dr. Michael Mizhiritsky, along with their team of best in class orthopedic physicians, are known for their exemplary orthopedic surgical skill and best rated physical medicine and rehabilitation program. This, along with their top in-office physical therapy and long-term sports rehabilitation processes, leads to athletes of all levels returning to their top physical potential. Contact us today to schedule a consult!

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