Recently, at the London 2012 Summer Olympics, athletes were seen sporting colorful strips strategically taped and stretched across their bodies.
Now non-Olympians have caught on to the benefits of Kinesio Taping, a non-invasive therapy offered at Community Chiropractic Center in Poway. The treatment has existed for decades, but this summer brought a significant surge of interest, as patients have increasingly asked about how the therapy can improve their athletic performance or relieve physical pain.
“Since the Olympics, the interest has increased. As patients are finding out about this, they are very interested in how it works – what’s the function and what’s the value,” said the center’s director, Dr. Mark Burdette, D.C., who started taping patients over ten years ago.
Community Chiropractic Center offers the popular brand, Rocktape, an American-developed, Korean-made product made of flexible cotton and nylon fibers and acrylic adhesive. The elastic tape is applied across the skin in a functional pattern specific to a patient’s treatment need. The tape contracts slightly, pulling the skin up for greater circulation of subcutaneous fluids.
“When that takes place, inflammation will calm down and healing can be accentuated,” said Burdette.
The results can be felt within an hour of taping, and the effectiveness lasts for approximately 12 to 20 hours for each application.
Taping is especially popular for the serious athlete and suitable for all ages, including youth. Each different sport challenges a unique muscle group, so applying the tape to target areas can enhance an individual’s performance, whether he or she is playing football, softball or baseball, soccer or other sports. Taping is especially effective for bicyclists and golfers, Burdette said.
“By putting the tape on, and pulling the skin away from the muscle, the muscle has the ability to receive greater blood flow and greater performance,” Burdette said. “So the performance capability for that muscle group is enhanced while the tape is on.”
While sports taping looks much like the athletic tape typically used to bind injured arms and ankles, it has nothing to do with structural support – in fact, the tape is thin and flexible and designed to improve range of motion when worn.
Burdette also uses the therapy to treat pregnant patients, individuals suffering from low back pain and sciatica, and those with pain and decreased mobility from repetitive stress in areas such as the wrists or shoulders. The tape is very effective for individuals with sprains and strains, although it is not designed for post-surgical patients.
Taping comes in different colors and pricing is based on the size of the treatment area, with discounts for taping multiple areas.