News Flash > Alternative Health


Taping Injuries

Reported August 20, 2009

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Ivanhoe Newswire) -- There's a new type of tape in town. Volleyball player Kerri Walsh sported it at the Olympics. In his new book, champion cyclist Lance Armstrong swears by it. But Kinesio tape isn't just for professional athletes. The elastic woven material is also helping patients in physical therapy recover from injuries.


For 22-year-old Carlos Villamizar, working out at the gym isn't a chore. It's a passion.


"It is an important part of my life," Villamizar told Ivanhoe.


But last year, lifting weights became nearly impossible.


"I felt like someone had stabbed me in the back with a knife," Villamizar recalled.


A pinched nerve caused the muscles in his upper back to weaken. Villamizar was told surgery wasn't an option, and it would take two years to heal.


"Two years was not acceptable in my standards," he said.


Instead of waiting, he turned to physical therapy and a special tape. Kinesio tape is stretched and placed on the skin over injured muscles and joints.


"You can apply this tape in such a manner that it will help to aid the contraction of that muscle group," Christopher Stavres, a physical therapist from Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare in Tallahassee, Fla., told Ivanhoe.



The tape improves circulation and helps remove painful fluid buildup.


"As the Kinesio tape recoils, what it does is that it then creates these convolutions along the skin, which relieve that pressure," Stavres said.


"Nothings a cure-all," Trent Nessler, P.T., D.P.T., M.P.T, managing director at Baptist Sports Medicine in Nashville, Tenn., told Ivanhoe.


But Nessler agrees Kinesio tape can have an impact when combined with other therapies.


"It's another great tool that we can use as a part of a well-comprehensive program," Nessler said.


Villamizar has been using the tape for three months. Today, he's back lifting weights.


"To get back in the gym, it's been, it's key to me," he explained.


Villamizar wears the tape for two weeks at a time. The tape typically stays on for three to five days before needing to be reapplied. It is made of 100 percent cotton fibers, and it stays on in the shower. A roll costs about $15 and is applied by a specially-trained physical therapist.


Christopher Stavres, PT
Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare
Tallahassee, FL