Strategies, Methods and Tools surrounding Sports Recovery has enjoyed a surge of interest in recent years. Many practices, products, and services have been introduced into the market, with ever growing interest.
Discussions and analysis around efficacy will center around practices, tools and services to increase post-exercise recovery.
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EMS: Electric Muscle Stimulator
The Tape: Kinesiology tape
Author: Rose D.
Kinesiology tape's rise to prominence in training and sports competition seemed to appear out of nowhere, especially the Summer Olympics of 2012, where it adorned several Olympian bodies. It has since enjoyed a meteoric rise to become available in several markets, outside of the rehabilitative roots, it originated from.
It has some extraordinary claims such as aiding in proprioceptive facilitation, muscle facilitation, reduced
muscle fatigue, reduced delayed-onset muscle soreness, and pain inhibition. There are also claims that it reduces edema, improves lymphatic drainage and blood flow. These are all claims that would benefit athletes, especially those at the elite level where; the frequency, duration and intensity of activity is most demanding and most likely to lead to injury.
It was created by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase in the 1970's while he was working with Australian tennis players while also rehabilitating elderly patients. He designed kinesiology tape to mimic the thickness and elastic properties of the human skin. Its acrylic adhesive can be heat activated and the cotton fibers are fast drying so it can be kept on longer than traditional athletic tape.
Researchers believe that there is a strong placebo effect involved with the use of Kinesiology tape, due to its ability to place emphasis on the injured area or muscle, because its placement on top of skin. Therefore, proprioception plays a significant role in the possible benefits of Kinesiology tape.
The proprioception affects along with internal attentional focus may cause the athlete to be hyper aware of the area, which then gives cues and messages to the muscle receptors, involved in the communication feedback loop. This in turn can improve proprioception related improvements such as balance and agility.
Researchers who have studied its application in rehabilitative circles, have found that it does improve joint health, as a preventative measure. In addition, it improves muscle strength for training performance, concerning eccentric movements. However, studies found that Kinesiology tape is not effective at assisting with deep neurological related incapacitates such as: neuromuscular control, muscle activity, joint stability, and functionality.
Initially, Kinesiology tape, as a tool in the arsenal of supplementary athletic aids, has had the strongest foothold in therapeutic circles, and still does, to a great degree. However, its application in fitness has increased greatly. The benefits of Kinesiology tape on recovery has been mixed. It's ability to increase proprioception aids in addressing some pressure to areas of inflammation acquired through training or injury. Therefore, this can assist with directing more blood flow to the area, as a response to that pressure, and aiding recovery. But studies have not indicated if it is significantly more effective than regular ACE tape, provided all conditions were equal.
However, due to its ability to stay in place longer on skin and its elasticity, which allows it to bend and mold to different angles of the body; it may assists with recovery for a longer duration then ACE tape. In this way, it potentially has greater benefits for an expedited recovery, though the benefits may be nominal.
The greatest benefit of Kinesiology tape concerning recovery may increase if used properly for intended and deliberate purposes. Especially when it is applied correctly and in conjunction with other traditional Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation (R.I.C.E.) practices.
However, the efficacy of Kinesiology tape as a tool, has shown to have various uses; like with other recovery and training aids, it's best used under coaching and guidance.
 Folie, Ramona et al. (2017) Eccentric Exercise, Kinesiology Tape, and Balance in Healthy Men. Journal of
Athletic Training, 52 (7): 636–642.
 Mostafavifar M, Wertz J, Borchers J. (2012) A systematic review of the effectiveness of kinesio taping for
musculoskeletal injury. Physiology Sports Med., 40 (4): 33-40.