While taping racers at the BC Bike Race, I often hear from curious onlookers, “Does that stuff really help?”
Many still ask how or why kinesiology tape works. The fivefold function of kinesiology tape includes; pain reduction (skin stimulation interferes with pain signals to the brain), decompression (reduction of swelling and inflammation by lifting the layers of skin allowing better blood flow), delay fatigue (help balance the load between overworked and underactive tissue), normalizes muscle tone (helping to repattern muscles and tissues to coordinate movement patterns for better healing) and spreading physical stress (in comparison to standard taping to reduce movement, kinesiology tape helps by allowing full movement while distributing forces to other tissues, ligaments and even bones).
Kinesiology tape has been in Canada since the 1990’s, first by the brand Kinesio Tex, and more recently from a selection of additional companies who have joined in with their own versions of the tape. Common brands include KT Tape, K Tape, Strength Tape, and my preference, RockTape.
The BC Bike Race has been my proving ground for all forms of taping product. Sweat, dirt, mud, bushes and more try to peel the tape from riders’ bodies, RockTape showing the best ability to stay stuck.
While kinesiology tapes are similar in class, the adhesive and the elastic natures vary from other brands, and I found to be the best combination for my practice. RockTape has also created a whole program for therapists of all sorts to help with the whole realm of movement analysis and treatment. Applications can last for 3 to 5 days if done properly, which creates round the clock support and improvement.
At multi-day events like the BC Bike Race, strain builds on the day before creating hot spots, tenderness and weakness. Not uncommon are a seat height or angle change from a crash — or just shipping the bike — to part changes such as shoes, cleats grips etc.
Each morning we see more and more riders come by the taping station to help patch up their bodies for another day. The joy comes at the end of the day when we see them at dinner or relaxing on site and the pain was gone or the issue has significantly improved.
While it works great at an event like this, kinesiology tape is also very helpful in your regular riding and daily living. Find a qualified Fascial Movement Taping practitioner who can get you started, and you, too, can benefit from kinesiology tape.
The following common taping sites are for demonstration only. Please seek a qualified practitioner for proper assessment and treatment.