Word for word, this from am avid reader of my Northern Echo column who emailed in with this interesting question:
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Paul, I wonder if you could spare the time to give me opinions and thoughts regarding the use and possible benefits of kino tape as used by top athletes in a variety of sports.
I have been involved in local athletics for over 30 years but recently suffered from bad injuries to my calf muscles Achilles and lower back. I tried all sorts of treatment to get some relief and in sheer desperation tried the tape. Now, I don’t know if it worked helped or cured my problem. But, I compete in park run and various club events and it may be coincidence, or the tape, I cant be sure but it seemed to benefit me.
I am an avid reader of you column in the Northern Echo and find it very helpful and thought provoking.
Kind regards Alan W. (Did not leave age or town of residence).
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Let’s see if I can work through this one and make some sense of it all for you.
Kinesiology tape is the colored tape that you’re now seeing many of the top sports stars wearing be it tennis players, athletes or even footballers.
“Kino tape” came on the scene back in 2012 when there was an abundance of sport on the TV. It was the year of the Euro’s, Wimbledon was on and then next came the Olympics. So it wasn’t that this tape was new, it was just being noticed some more.
The science behind kinesiology tape is that it’s supposed to provide vital oxygen and nutrients to muscles and tendons (and ligaments) to help them heal faster. Personally, I’m very sceptical of things like this but I’d always go so far as to say that any difference, even the slightest, as long and it isn’t going to cost you lots of money, just give it a go.
And if it’s ever likely to work for you, as in, if you apply it to an injured area of your body and notice a positive difference, it’s more than likely to happen to smaller parts on your body such as Achilles tendons or knee tendons. Both are hot spot injury points for runners aged 45+.
Now, Alan points out that his back AND Achilles tendon feel better as a result of wearing this kind of tape. Here’s what could be happening and where the magic of the human body’s ability to correct it’s self, shows up:
That the tape has provided “some” relief to the Achilles is likely to be true. I could never say for certain how much. But if you’ve got a tendon that’s damaged and “old” per se, adding some much needed nutrients to help it whilst you run, is going to make a difference.
And if Alan has been running with a dodgy Achilles, then it’s no the wonder that he’s also suffered a bad back. Or visa versa, doesn’t really matter. You can and are likely to suffer from a bad back if you’re running with an Achilles that can’t take the full weight of your body, whenever your foot lands.
So, making just a slight change to the feel, strength, lack of pain felt at your Achilles, will also make a change to the pressure that’s added to your lower back. If I were Alan, I’d go one step further and get it looked at by a physio or sports therapist. That an improvement has been found in his Achilles tendon with something as “50-50” as wearing tape, just imagine what relief he’ll get, and new life he might find, with the help of an expert set of hands working on that Achilles for 30 minutes or so, twice in a week.
More sports injury recovery tips here: www.paulgoughphysio.con/sports-injury-clinic