In the past, physiotherapy’s reliance on kinesiology tape elicited an unwarranted sense of skepticism from many individuals. In fact, it took several years for even Olympic-level athletes to adopt kinesio tape as a viable rehabilitation solution. In order to dispel common myths surrounding kinesio taping and to better inform our readers, we’ve decided to uncover some of the facts surrounding this misunderstood treatment and discover the truth about kinesiology tape.
Myth 1: Kinesio Tape is a Placebo
One common myth is that kinesiology tape only relieves pain because of the latent psychological impact of the “Placebo Effect.” This effect refers to a scientific study that illuminated the importance of mindset and belief on curing ailments. A control group was prescribed a daily dose of useless sugar pills, and the experimental group of participants was treated with actual medicine. In the end, the placebo pill successfully duped the control group into believing they were no longer experiencing illness. However, unlike the classic sugar pill used in this experiment—kinesiology tape offers actual health benefits.
Kinesio tape increases the speed at which injured muscle tissue heals by stabilizing shifting skin and preventing the formation of knots. An added benefit of healthy tissue is increased blood flow and range of motion. Both of these side effects help ailing athletes produce impressive performances on the field while injured.
Myth 2: Reapplying Tape is Expensive
After their initial treatment, some patients mistakenly believe that an extra layer of kinesiology tape requires an expensive return visit to the physical therapist. Thankfully, one of the biggest benefits of kinesio tape is that self-application is possible and affordable. Strapping a knee, shoulder or arm is simple—all you need is KT tape and a mirror. During application, it’s important to keep tissue taut and the tape snuggly secured to your skin. Ideally, the outside of your tape should be completely smooth and have no noticeable bumps or ridges. With a little practice, you should quickly get into a rhythm and application should take no more than a few minutes.
Myth 3: Colour Can Impact Performance
While trends and fads are common in the athletic community, let’s get one thing clear—no one wears kinesiology tape as a fashion statement. Despite the wide variety of colors at patients’ disposal, the widespread adoption of this therapeutic treatment can be wholly attributed to its utility as a pain reliever.
Some kinesiology practitioners claim that tape colour can affect the reflection of light and absorption of heat—influencing the temperature of your muscle tissue. This myth can be easily debunked because the increase in heat associated with a darker tape colour would be too slight to alter the bodily functions that regulate homeostasis. In conclusion, when you’re choosing the colour of your tape, discount performance and try matching with your team colours instead.
Myth 4: Scientists Have Debunked Kinesiology
While many in the scientific community have discounted kinesiology tape’s effectiveness, there are plenty of researchers in academia that honor its merits. For instance, several articles from BMJ (British Medical Journal) like this case report and this study on osteoarthritis suggest that evidence is on kinesiology’s side.
When conducting your own research, it will become immediately apparent that the virtues of this treatment method are still in contention. Much of the evidence to support kinesio taping is experiential. For years, physical therapy practitioners have healed the tissue ailments of countless patients, and this proven track record of success makes trying kinesiology worth a shot.
To try taping for yourself, be sure to check out our collection of Ares Kinesio Tape.