Rehabbing with Kinesio Tape

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Is a sprain or a strain keeping you out of the game? Grab a roll of Kinesio Tape and rehab your injury without missing any of the action.

If you watched any of the Olympics in Beijing, you might have caught several cameo appearances of Kinesio Tape. More than 200 athletes from 58 countries sported the colorful elastic tape, which is used to support injured muscles and joints, relieve pain and improve blood flow to injured and bruised areas of the body.

According to John Jarvis, director of Kinesio Taping, what sets the product apart from standard athletic tape is that it allows an athlete to continue playing while rehabbing or recovering from an injury.

"White athletic tape is a very rigid tape. It has no stretch to it whatsoever, and it's technically there to support and immobilize a particular joint," Jarvis explains. "Because we're using an elastic piece of tape, we're able to offer the support an athlete's looking for but also provide [a] full range of motion."

Kinesio Tape not only provides support and allows for movement, it also helps reduce any bruising or swelling that accompanies an injury. Jarvis says the elasticity of the tape helps channel the blood and lymphatic fluid from a contusion to different areas of the body.

"One of our athletes was spearheaded by a football helmet, and it left a 14-inch contusion on his leg that was black and blue and swollen. We [taped] him and within about 12 hours, the discoloration, inflammation and swelling [were] down."

According to the Center for Disease Control, during the 2005-2006 school year, high school athletes suffered an estimated 1.4 million injuries, half of which sidelined the athletes for a week or more. The most common injuries were sprains, strains and contusions.

Jarvis asserts that Kinesio Tape speeds recovery from almost any injury. "We have [more than] 1,200 recognized applications for either neuromuscular or neuroskeletal conditions throughout the body," he says. "From planter fasciitis to low back spasms, hamstring pulls to quad injuries, we can probably tape it up, [and you'll be] able to go out and perform at the exact same level."

For more info on Kinesio Tape and its application, visit:

Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock