Performance tape is known by a variety of names, including kinesiology tape, kinesiotape and k-tape, and there are numerous brands to choose from. RockTape, for example, offers a great research library for those who want to learn more about the science behind the use of this product. With the help of EMG readings and statistics, research has shown that, when used correctly, some performance tape can provide benefits.
Before deciding to use performance tape, be sure to first consider a few factors, such as the type of tape, what you need it for and, most importantly, whether or not you know how to apply it. Your answers to these questions can have a significant impact on the ultimate effectiveness of the tape you apply.
It is important to remember that performance tape is not designed to “fix” anything; rather, it is used to temporarily increase efficacy of the joint or muscle. While performance tape is primarily used for stabilization with mobility properties for athletes, it can also be used to help with postural deviations and muscular imbalances by “taping” an area of the body to teach the muscles proper form. Tape can also play a significant psychological role, as individuals may feel more confident, and thus perform better, because the tape provides a protective barrier of sorts.
Additionally, performance tape is often used to address the following issues:
- Chronic pain
- Short-term relief
- Muscular cramps
Fabric tape has been used by for centuries, but new manufacturing techniques have revolutionized its usability, making it elastic and waterproof, and even giving it ventilation properties. Various tapes that are applied properly can effectively be left on for up to five days, if necessary.
Although you can learn how to apply the tape correctly by watching videos, it’s a good idea to visit a professional who has been trained in the kinesio taping method to learn the most effective techniques.
For a more in-depth discussion on the use and benefits of performance tape, check out this CERTIFIED article, Kinesiology Tape: Does it Really Work?,which also offers the opportunity to earn ACE CECs. If you have additional questions about performance tape, contact a Certified Kinesio Taping Instructor in your area.