How Can Performance Tape Boost My Performance?

By Athlete's Care on April 25, 2018

Toronto Chiropractor

Many of our clients come to our Toronto physiotherapists and chiropractors looking for advice on measures they can take to improve their athletic performance. If you watched the last Summer Olympic Games, you’ll have noticed many athletes sporting colourful K-Tape or Kinesio Tape on their shoulders, legs, and elsewhere. The Japanese Olympic volleyball team pioneered the practice which has now spread to many sports and disciplines.

What is K-Tape?

It’s also known more simply as elastic therapeutic tape, and that pretty much describes its essential characteristics. It is elastic cotton tape with an acrylic adhesive on one side. Physical therapists and Chiropractors at our Toronto sports medicine clinics sometimes use it for their clients. It has a range of uses.

The key difference between K-Tape and the usual athletic tape that is used to immobilize an area after injury is that the K-Tape is flexible. Its elastic quality works to support muscles and tendons and take some of the stress off pressure points like joint areas. That’s the key to its potential athletic benefits.

When it’s used for therapy, it is typically wrapped around an area. When it’s being used for athletic performance, however, it’s placed on the skin on top of muscles. It often looks like long strips.

The Benefits

It’s extremely important to only use K-Tape with some guidance, which our Toronto physiotherapy and chiropractic specialists are always happy to provide. You may actually worsen an injury by using it incorrectly, so the proper instruction on its use is crucial.

In the absence of large controlled studies, the anecdotal evidence does seem to suggest that it provides some short term benefits – even if they may be psychological to a certain degree. The K-Tape seems to make athletes feel more stable, and that may be a crucial point.

  • Applied properly, it essentially lifts up the upper skin layers, and provides a little more space between the various layers of soft tissue. That’s where pain control is thought to come into play.
  • K-Tape is thought to increase circulation in the area where it is applied due to the separating effect.
  • It can help to alleviate chronic musculoskeletal pain, which can also help improve performance where that is an issue.
  • Another advantage many sports experts note is that the tape encourages proper form by helping athletes remain more mindful of those areas and specific muscles.
  • K-Tape doesn’t react to chlorine, making it a good choice for swimmers, who are one of the disciplines that have seen benefits with its use.

Note that the possible disadvantage may be feeling a little too over confident in its effects and taking risks that you shouldn’t take. The general guideline is to use the tape for bouts of only two to four days at a time.

K-Tape may give you an advantage and help boost your athletic performance. It will depend on your sport, your current condition, and a number of other factors. Let our Toronto physiotherapists and sports medicine specialists advise you on K-Tape and any other issues that affect your athletic goals. Drop by one of our Toronto clinics or call us for an appointment today.