Here's another questions that we feel may need answering...
"why have both a Standard and an Extra Sticky K tape? Why not one that works for all?"
As much as we’d love to just have one tape, we want to provide a tape option that works for every body. Our Extra Sticky Flex would always be our recommended tape of choice for the majority of our users. However, some people don’t require, or can’t withstand the extra glue for a variety of reasons, the most common being sensitive skin, which again can be caused by a variety of influences.
The same can be said for the various sizes and widths that we offer. For the self-taping everyday user, our 5cm x 5m roll would normally be the best choice. However for the clinical user, we offer rolls in a 22m length. Then for those larger muscle groups and, occasionally from what we see on our social feeds, horses, there’s the 10cm wide roll. They all serve their unique purpose.
If you are unsure over what tape would be best for you then feel free to get in touch and we’d be happy to discuss your individual needs. Although our tapes are hypoallergenic and latex free we’d always recommend a small tester patch be applied the first time before going for a full application.
This is probably the most common question that we get asked when we are at events and on our courses. We constantly speak to people who have been taped by their physio and felt the benefits, but don’t really understand how the tape works. The same for those coming across tape for the first time.
As it currently stands, the honest answer is…we don’t 100% know. We can only theorise. As with many sports medicine treatments (such as massage, acupuncture, cupping and taping) there really isn’t the gold standard research for us all to agree exactly what is happening, but the research is developing all the time, and with us so do our theories. Much of what we know about taping is purely from clinical experience of our therapists using the tape in practice and seeing or feeling the results first hand. This is how the majority of the applications we teach have developed too, but we always try to empower those we teach to experiment with new applications and use the basic concepts alongside their imagination to find the best approach. Taping can’t be done as a paint-by-numbers approach.
So back to how it works. Our current theory is most based around the sensory nervous system with the tape providing a positive response to the nervous system which in turn can increase afferent stimulation and reduce pain. Basically, based on the way that we apply the tape (stretch/no stretch) we can send a variety of signals back to the brain warning it of an area of issue or making it more aware of a weaker area. The brain then in turn responds to this stimulus by blocking/reducing the pain or increasing the motor control or muscular response in that area.
There may also be something to be said for the stretch affect on the facial tissue underneath the tape. By stretching the tape we are able to create a small lift on the skin as it recoils, effectively straightening out the tissue beneath the tape and reducing the pressure on the pain and stretch receptors in the skin.
When it comes to Kinesiology Taping, it's not often that you get to see the effects. The only time is it's effect on swelling and bruising. The current theory is that the lifting effect the tape has allows the lymphatic system to work more effectively, clearing swelling and bruising from areas and allowing faster recovery.
The most important thing to understand is that tape certainly has it’s place, and can be a wonderful additional to any persons toolkit but it won’t directly fix an injured structure. It may help the rehab or recovery process, allowing you to train or compete pain free, but it will not fix any underlying issues so should be used responsibility alongside other treatments to ensure a long-lasting response.
How proud are we? We finally get to annouce that 2 members of the SPORTTAPE Team will be part of Team Wales heading to the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia this April, and both as competitors!
Anyone that has read our blogs in the past, or seen our About Us page knows that we've got 2 elite athletes working at SPORTTAPE HQ. After both running for GB over the past few months, they now get to pull on the home nation vest at the Commonwealth Games.
Tom will be competing in his specialist event, the 1500m.
Ieuan, as he did at the London World Championships, will be competing in the 3000m Steeplechase.
Never fear though, these guys may be off to Australia for a few weeks, but SPORTTAPE HQ will remain fully open and operational.
We can't wait. We hope you'll all join us in cheering the guys on (even if it's on catch-up)!