Luckily I'd been sent some kinesiology tape to review, which coincided nicely with my Achilles grumbling away on both legs.
Kinesiology tape seems all the rage at the moment, you've probably seen it all over athletes this summer at the Olympics, but does it really work?
The SpiderTech tape was easy to apply, firstly you have to tear the backing paper along the perforations, peel of the backing paper on each section and then apply the tape to the skin.
The official website has video's of how to apply the tape as well as instructions in the packet: http://www.spidertech.com/videos/
With my 'second' skin reinforcing my Achilles, I kitted up and set off my run to work.
Can I honestly judge the tape from one 12 mile run to work? Probably not, and to be honest I didn't notice any real benefit, and by the time I arrived at work, the tape had fallen off in places from the sweat and mud on my legs. To gauge the real effects the tape would be worn over a length of time while both running and wearing it while resting to give a more accurate account.
My thoughts at present tend to lean to the 'Placebo effect'.
Below the picture, you can read the official blurb, but also take some time out and read this post: http://www.running-physio.com/kinesio/ on the excellent Running Physio site about the subject of kinesiology taping.
SpiderTech has the answer with their cleverly designed “spiders”. This pre-cut kinesiology tape is a non-medicated cotton tape that is applied to the body wherever it hurts or needs support. Taping was developed decades ago in Japan. The intention was to support the body’s own healing processes with a special material utilising a particular application technique. The effect of the taping relieves pain and supports muscles and joints to ensure they are in the correct alignment or position for both exercise and recovery.
How does a ‘spider’ work?
The tape has a very specific elasticity built into the weave pattern of the cotton fabric which mimics the elasticity and thickness of human skin, allowing it to integrate, support and stabilise without adversely affecting healthy ranges of motion. This allows maximum performance ability, without pain or strain. It works in several ways to provide pain relief, reduce swelling, assist a range of movement and give structural support;
· It takes pressure off painful areas which decreases tension through weak or inflamed muscles and tendons, therefore reducing the pain and further damage caused if the patient has to continue to use the joints, for work, day to day activities etc.
· It relaxes muscles. Depending on how it is applied, the tape is thought to activate stretch receptors in the skin which feed back to influence the control of the muscle tension under the skin or activate muscle spindles within the muscle. This increases the activity and endurance of the muscle.
· It promotes recovery. When applied to the skin with stretch, the tape naturally wants to recoil. As a result it lifts the skin and fascia to allow blood flow to increase which is thought to speed up the recovery process.