Putting on the Stripes to Ease Pain

Putting on the Stripes to Ease PainBy LAURA JOHANNES / The Wall Street Journal Bright-colored strips of tape in odd patterns are increasingly being seen on professional and recreational athletes. Kinesiology tape can help take pressure off overused muscles, reduce swelling and alleviate pain from injuries, say companies that sell it. Scientific evidence is mixed, but clinicians say it seems to work—at least in the short term. Kinesiology taping, developed in the 1970s by Japanese chiropractor Kenzo Kase, came to the U.S. in the mid-1990s. Now, a number of companies are competing with the tape created by Dr. Kase, called Kinesio Tex Tape. While the tape is sold by Kinesio Holding Co. only to clinicians, such as physical therapists and chiropractors, some of the newer brands are being marketed to consumers, with application instructions included on the package and on Web videos. (Kinesio Holding is an Albuquerque, N.M., company owned by Dr. Kase's daughter, Tomoko Kase.) Unlike standard athletic taping, which often involves wrapping a joint for support and compression, kinesiology tape is placed in a variety of patterns depending on the injury, says Graceann Forrester, a Cortland, N.Y., physical therapist who instructs clinicians on how to use the tape. It is pulled to differing degrees of tension to create the desired effect and is typically worn for two to five days, unlike standard tape, which is used mainly during an activity...Read More

Putting on the Stripes to Ease Pain

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