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Leg Injury

Sports Recovery

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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Child Physiotherapy

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 in 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, and 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 are 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.

 

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Researchers believe that there is a strong placebo effect involved with the use of Kinesiology tape, due to its ability to emphasize the injured area or muscle, because of its placement on top of skin. Therefore, proprioception plays a significant role in the possible benefits of Kinesiology tape.

The proprioception effects 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.

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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.

As a tool Kinesiology tape is best used under coaching and guidance for its various uses.

References:
 

[1] Folie, Ramona et al. (2017) Eccentric Exercise, Kinesiology Tape, and Balance in Healthy Men. Journal of
                 Athletic Training, 52 (7): 636–642.

[2] 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. 

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