What the Heck is that Colored Tape on the Olympians?

Wondering what those brightly colored "Tattoos" are on the bodies of many of the Olympians in London? Well there's more to it than meets the eye!


If you were watching Beach Volleyball at the London Olympics this week, you  may have wondered what that colored tape was that you saw on Olympic Gold medalist Kerri Walsh’s shoulder. Well, it’s not a tattoo as some have speculated, and it’s not even a coveted fashion item by Stella McCartney or Adidas.  What it is in fact is a brightly colored injury strapping tape called Kinesio Tape - and as the Olympics kick off, it’s what just about every athlete in town is wearing. 

Kinesio Tape and Kinesio Taping is nothing new, but it is certainly catching on. It was developed more than 25 years ago by Dr. Kenzo Kase, a Japanese chiropractor who trained in the US.  And although it was actually invented in the seventies, Kinesio tape was only noticed by the general public after US beach volleyball athlete Kerri Walsh competed in the 2008 Olypmpic Games in Beijing with lines of black tape on her shoulder.

Kinesio Tape is basically a thin, elastic, color-coded strip of tape applied by a practitioner to joints and muscles where support and stability is needed. It is a “non-restrictive” taping method – different than traditional taping methods which were much more rigid and inflexible. It is presently gaining popularity for use to reduce pain and inflammation, relax overused tired muscles and speed healing. It is also used by many athletes for preventative maintenance, edema and pain management.

When properly applied, you don’t even know the tape is there.  It is placed on top of the skin, strategically, often in “waves”, and is effective for 3 to 5 days before it needs to be replaced. You can shower or swim with it. It doesn’t contain latex, which is great for those with latex allergies.

Kinesio Taping is becoming all the rage - as evidenced by its widespread usage at the Olympic Summer games.  Reviews of Kinesio Tape mention its effectiveness in relieving carpal tunnel, arthritis, plantar fasciitis, shoulder pain, lower back strains, and even tennis elbow.

Kinesio Taping is not only being used by Olympians this summer, but also by other well known athletes like Lance Armstrong, Serena Williams, and David Beckam. 

So, keep an eye out for this bright "Health Fashion Statement" these next two weeks - and if you have any joint or back pain, Kinesio Taping might be worth a mention to your medical practitioner or chiropractor.  For more information,
feel free to contact Dr. Cocilovo at newcitychiropractic@gmail.com or visit his website at www.newcitychiropractic.com .

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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