By : Kate Phillips
What was that colorful tape that most of the athletes wore during the Olympics? The answer is Kinesiology Therapeutic tape, widely known as KT tape. Kinesio tape has been around since the 1970’s and it’s only now becoming a popular athletic trend.
KT tape is a strong, elastic athletic tape used to reduce muscle pain, increase mobility, and enhance athletic performance. KT tape also provides support for muscles and joints and is used to prevent injuries.
Rachael Salvione, head coach of the Lady Raiders volleyball team, said that she heard about KT tape through an athletic trainer and her athletes began using it last year.
Salvione said, “I currently have 2 players that use KT tape. My setter uses it for her shoulder and my middle hitter uses it for her knee. My players feel that they get relief from using the KT tape, as they both have had injuries resulting in pain and discomfort when playing the game.”
Salvione encourages her athletes to use KT tape more. She said she would rather see her players using KT tape than taking pain medication to provide relief.
Jennifer Tatlock, a physical therapist at Physical Therapy Associates of Schenectady at the Amsterdam location, has applied KT tape to hundreds of her patients. She said, “[The] majority of patients (85% roughly) find it very helpful.”
Common places that KT tape is applied include the lower extremities to reduce swelling, the knee for support and the ankle for muscle activation to avoid drop foot. KT tape can also be applied to help with carpel tunnel syndrome, helping to decrease inflammation. An uncommon area that Tatlock has taped was face muscles. She said, “Facial muscles for Bells Palsy- worked great!”
KT tape will stay on for two to three days when it is applied to a harsh area such as the knee or ankle. When applied to an area that is not moved as much, such as the shoulder or back area it will stay on much longer. KT tape should be removed after five days to avoid skin irritation.
Tatlock is training to be kinesiology tape certified. “The letters CKTP stand for Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner. Those letters ‘CKTP’ after a name ensure confidence that the practitioner has undergone the necessary training to integrate Kinesio Taping in to their practice.”
KT tape can be found at many local drug stores and on the internet for purchase. Instructional videos can be found at http://www.kttape.com.