Why do professional athletes use kinesiology tape?

Often people in the general population and recreational athletes look up to professional athletes. These individuals may choose to follow in their footsteps in terms of both training behaviour and/or treatment options. In addition to the use of kinesiology tape, which started to become very common around the time of the 2012 London Olympics, professional sport has started numerous treatment fads, that have then increased in popularity among the general population or recreational athletes. It is important to remember, however, that many of these athletes were sponsored by the companies who supplied them with kinesiology tape, as well as other forms of funding. The athletes would show off the tape, but there was not any scientifically sound information regarding its benefits.

In sports such as track and field, a difference of even 0.1 milliseconds can be the difference between a podium finish or not. Because of this, athletes in these sports are willing to use any tool that may provide them with a benefit, however small that may be. They can often be very well supported and have access to an entire team of specialists and treatment techniques. Purchasing the kinesthetic tape and then applying it is not typically a concern for these athletes, whereas for the general population, using this tape for a great length of time and trying to apply it by oneself can be quite difficult and expensive. 

It’s also important to remember that what we don’t see is that professional athletes also have all the other aspects of recovery and injury prevention in check, that are much more important than applying tape. These are things such as doing progressive strength training and overall exercise programming, as well as proper sleep and nutrition. 

So, if you are not a professional athlete, who doesn’t have access to unlimited supply of tape, deep tissue massage or various other recovery gadgets with limited evidence to support them, focus first and foremost on the essentials of pain recovery and injury prevention. This being things like staying active and doing the necessary strengthening and stretching exercises. These are very affordable and can be done mostly by oneself, although seeking help from physiotherapists or an application such as Reach can be even more helpful.

Andreas Hessner
andreas@reachactive.co

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