Tape It - Page 2
Many experts, unconvinced by the scientific evidence, cite the not-insignificant placebo effect as perhaps Kinesio taping’s biggest benefit. Other reasons for its use can be more superficial, like peer competitiveness (i.e. if so and so is performing well with it, maybe I should be using it too), or as a fashion statement or a mind-settling ritual. As to fashion, witness German volleyball player Katrin Holtwick’s aquamarine-colored tape fan covering her six-pack abs and exiting her bikini bottoms in London, an eye-catching look to be sure.
But many athletes, medical experts and physiotherapists swear that Kinesio taping simply works—i.e. results do the talking—and claim that the scientific evidence has not caught up. Some experts also say it is difficult to pin down taping’s effectiveness due to simultaneous, overlapping therapies, such as icing, NSAIDS, acupuncture, massage, etc.
“Kinesio tape was incredible in helping me through a terrible bout of PF [plantar fasciitis],” says long-time, accomplished ultrarunner Andy Jones-Wilkins. “Daily taping of my heel and arch provided excellent support for the damaged tissues while they were healing, and it allowed me to return to running more quickly than I probably could have without it. Now, I use it as a preventative aid for occasional training sessions, or when I am feeling unusually tired. For me, it is well worth the expense!” (Regarding price, for example, Rocktape goes for about 20 bucks per two-inch-by-16.4-foot roll.)
On the contrary, says Dr. John McCall, an orthopedic surgeon in Collingwood, Ontario, who has worked with the Canadian speed-skating team, “Taping has been around for hundreds of years. It’s a bit like acupuncture, mostly bullshit, but I’m not against it. If it works, that’s OK. Usain Bolt doesn’t need it!”