Kinesio Tape: Miracle Adhesive Or Undeserved Hype?

on August 10 2012 6:18 PM

Kinesio Tape has been ubiquitous during the London 2012 Olympic Games, but does the brightly colored adhesive actually live up to the hype?

Olympics athletes have been wearing Kinesio Tape amid claims the Japanese product boosts performance and aids in the healing of injuries. But experts say the adhesive is not any better than other types of tape.

Dr. Jennifer Solomon, a physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, said athletes believe Kinesio Tape works wonders, "but there's no solid evidence that this tape helps," according to ABC News.

Kinesio Tape became a craze during the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, when sumo wrestlers were seen wearing the adhesive, the CBC reported.

It was also worn on the shoulder of women's volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh-Jennings during the 2008 games, Yahoo Sports reported.

The product has had a 300 percent increase in sales since then, the CBC said.

The maker of Kinesio Tape has claimed the product has a host of benefits, including aiding in the healing of cuts and boosting performance, but ABC News said studies don't back up those statements.

"It might have some small role in the rehab process," Dr. Dennis Cardone, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at the New York University Langone Medical Center in New York, told the news outlet. "But without evidence, we can't say it's doing anything near what the company claims or what athletes using it say they feel."

Yahoo Sports noted that the Japanese inventor who created Kinesio Tape, Kenzo Kase, admitted there is "no scientific evidence" to support his claims. Still, the chiropractor believes in the healing properties of his product.

"Your pain sensors are located between the epidermis and the dermis, the first and second layers of your skin, so I thought that if I applied tape to the pain it would lift the epidermis slightly up and make a space between the two layers," Kase told the Guardian last year. "This would in turn allow blood to flow more easily to the injured area. But you can use the tape in lots of ways, depending on the width and the amount of stretch."

Kinesio tape goes for about $10 at Amazon.com, depending on how big a roll of the adhesive you purchase.

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