Some time one wise man or woman said that sport is healthy and he or she was right but probably did not mean professional athletes or he or she should not have had them in its mind. Vocational sport is extremely destructive human organism, strictly speaking on the movement system including muscles, bones and joints. Thus there have recently appeared new ways of health protection and one of them is Kinesio taping, consisting in covering some part of the body with special adhesive tape, that become common in various sports arenas involving volleyball too. Why is this method so popular? How does Kinesio taping work? Is it healthy and safe?
Kinesio taping (Kinesiology taping) is relatively new for everyman in common use, however has been taken advantage in professional sport since many years . This physiotherapy method comes from Japan where was projected by Dr Kenzo Kase in the 80’s of the twentieth century and consist in covering a selected part of the body with special plasters that have weight, thickness, and flexibility up-closed to human skin. The waterproof plaster has a glue disposed in the sinusoidal shape (does not include neither any medicines nor latex) what makes facilitate en easy air circulation. One glued plaster may be used even a week or longer in fact until it starts to flake. Kinesio tapes do not bother in movement since there are almost unnoticeable.
Holistic and physiological aspect of the use
Kinesiology taping methods are still tested and analyzed (some results below) and these studies frequently deliver surprisingly good, indeed hard to prove products, while sometimes do not give any visible concludes. The act of plasters extract self-healing capabilities of the body. It stimulates appropriate receptors to support the flow of lymphatic fluid (lymph) and blood in the small capillaries. It can run on fascia and ligaments, as well as support the work of muscles, accelerate their treatment and the correct position of the joints. In sport, not only is it designed primarily to reduce pain, but it also speeds up recovery. Sometimes they are used prophylactically, to prevent injury and maintain the desired effects of the other therapy for longer.
There are several theoretical benefits claimed for the tape. One of those is correcting the alignment of weak muscles as well as facilitating joint motion as a result of the tape’s recoiling qualities. Additionally, the tape is claimed to lift the skin, increasing the space below it, and increasing blood flow and circulation of lymphatic fluids (swelling). This increase in the interstitial space is said to lead to less pressure on the body’s nociceptors, which detect pain, and to stimulate mechanoreceptors, to improve overall joint proprioception.
A 2012 meta analysis found that the efficacy of elastic therapeutic tape in pain relief was trivial given that no studies found clinically important results. The tape “may have a small beneficial role in improving strength, range of motion in certain injured cohorts and force sense error compared with other elastic tapes, but further studies are needed to confirm these findings”. The same article concluded: “KT had some substantial effects on muscle activity, but it was unclear whether these changes were beneficial or harmful. In conclusion, there was little quality evidence to support the use of KT over other types of elastic taping in the management or prevention of sports injuries”.
Whereas, NMT (NeuroMuscular Taping) Institute publish quarterly journals containing case studies about the Kinesio tape alleviate patients’ who are in pain and discomfort in the physical therapy phase. Patients can are also taped by occupational therapists, nurses, Athletic trainer, pediatricians, geriatrician, physicians, orthopedicians, neurologists, chiropractors, and students in training, under appropriate supervision.
Some researchers claim that what athletes are experiencing is a placebo effect.
Most frequent use in volleyball:
- Treatment of: lower beck (lumbar spine), knee joint, abdominal muscles, humeral joint, abdominal muscle, gluteus muscles, muscle trices surae, quadriceps muscle, ankle joint
- Prevention during micro-injuries of all above pointed parts of the body
Non sports question. Visual exploitation
Leaving the health aspect, as you can observe on the volleyball courts, kinesio tapes have also become a meaningful attribute of volleyball fashion and slots particularly into women’s tastes. Female players cherry-pick colors of the tape to colors of the playing T-shirts and shorts like shoes or a handbag colors to the evening dress before the most important and biggest dance of the year. However, it is not obviously a reason to complain especially for the men’s part of viewers.
Scientific advices: Dr Dariusz Harmaciński (University of Physical Education in Wrocław, Poland)