Over the last several years, kinesiotape has become very popular. This is due almost entirely to very good marketing – the bright colours make it both more attractive, and more visible when celebrity athletes wear it. Celebrity athletes do wear it, because kinesiotape manufacturers give it to them for free!
That all sounds like kinesiotape manufacturers are snake oil salesmen, but in actual fact, kinesiotape DOES work... for some injuries.
The reason we wear tape when we're injured is to stabilise the joint to prevent further injury and pain. There are 3 main mechanisms by which that works:
Both kinesiotape AND rigid tape will effectively provide improved proprioception, and allow for the psychosomatic benefits, but only rigid tape can mechanically reduce joint movement.
As a general rule: If you have a severe injury (7+/10), or unable to exercise because of your injury, use rigid tape. If you have a less severe injury (3-7/10), or are able to exercise while injured, use kinesiotape.
That is a general rule, however, and you should ALWAYS seek advice from a sports health professional.
For more information on tape or other bracing, email me directly via the contact page. For specific information on an injury you have, or for treatment, contact one of my clinics directly. You can find that information here.
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Dr Mitch Clark