KT Tape: Does A Body {and baby} Good!

(Image Source: Women Talk Sports}

If you watched the Olympics at all this summer, you probably noticed brightly colored strips of tape on some of the athletes legs, abdomen, back and arms.  The tape is called Kinesiology Tape, or KT Tape®.  KT Tape® has been around since 2009, but has gained recent popularity due to its recent exposure in the media.

So what is KT Tape®? KT Tape is reinforced 100% cotton strips designed to provide durability and increased strength. These strips are weaved into meshed yarn to provide uni-directional elasticity – meaning the tape will stretch in length but not in width. The tape is designed to mimic and move like human skin. Unlike a brace or wrap, the specifically woven fibers ensure KT Tape® will provide stable support without restricting motion.

{Source: KT Tape}

The tape’s porous design allows it to breathe and for moisture to escape, making it water and sweat proof.  The tape has also been designed to stay on your skin for up to 5 days, but you won’t rip a layer of skin off when you remove it.  GENIUSES.

KT Tape® is sold in brightly colored rolls, because you have to coordinate it with your outfit.  #obviously.  And though you can apply the tape yourself (KT Tape®’s website has some great videos), I recommend you have a doctor or Physical Therapist apply it for you, so you are using the tape in the most effective way. Some Dr.’s will do it for free, if you are already seeing them for an injury. Others will charge a small fee.

Ok, it’s on my body and I look fierce.  BUT, how is KT Tape® used, exactly?

Recovery: Sore back after a tennis match?  Applied to a specific area, KT Tape® provides targeted pain relief by relieving pressure and increasing circulation to help speed recovery. This is why you saw tape on the backs and abdomens of the Olympic divers – the twisting of their torsos can cause strained or pulled muscles, and the tape allows them to continue competing.

KT Tape® isn’t just for Olympians, though.  My running friend, Kerry, was battling a muscle injury in her calf this summer and wore KT Tape® while she was not running.  This allowed her to recover from runs quicker and get back on the road.

{Aren’t my friends Kerry & Jenny so cute?}

Active Support: This is how most of the Olympians are using the tape.  By applying to tweaked or sore muscles groups, ligaments or joints, KT Tape® provides stability by serving as an external layer of support.  It can lift and support the knee cap, holding it in place for Runner’s Knee or support muscles along the arch of the foot, relieving the connective tissues for Plantar’s Fasciitis. Kerri Walsh, USA Olympic Beach Volleyball player, had rotator cuff surgery several years back, and the tape supports and stabilizes her shoulder while she crushes poor, innocent foreigners on the other side of the net. BTW, she was 5 weeks preggo when she won the gold in London.  Just sayin’.

{Source: New York Times}

Babies with hypotonia (low muscle tone): This one blew me away.  I’ve always associated KT Tape® with athletes, mainly runners, because that’s my jam.  A few months ago while talking with Big Sis, she mentioned that Lil Lil started seeing a physical therapist because she was a bit behind on some of her gross motor skills, like rolling over and sitting up on her own. The PT had applied KT Tape® to Lil Lil’s belly explaining that the tape will help provide more sensory input and cues to her as she is rolling, sitting and using her core muscles. It encourages the body’s muscles to complete multiple, correct repetitions of a desired movement over time, and take the place of where the PT would normally put her hands to assist or encourage a certain movement. 

{Source: Kinesio Taping}

Big Sis told me that within days of applying the tape, she could see significant changes in Lil Lil’s skills – she was getting stronger! I was amazed.  And now of course, Lil Lil is the master of her domain and cannot be stopped.  I mean, she has a mohawk. Basically she is a tiny, loud rock star. 

{Does this look like a face that will sit still for long?}

Have you ever used KT Tape®?  What do you think?

What was your favorite Olympic Sport / Athlete to watch this summer?

Sidebar: I am not affiliated with, nor compensated by, KT Tape®.  Opinions are all my own.  I just like the stuff.

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2 thoughts on “KT Tape: Does A Body {and baby} Good!

  1. Wow – this is SO interesting! I was wondering what that stuff was on the athletes! And to know it is used for child development is incredible!! Where can you find this tape?

    Thanks for sharing – yet again, I learn something from you!!!

    • Aw, thanks Sharon!
      You can find KT tape at any local running store or Dick’s Sporting Goods – and KTTape.com, of course. Your PT (if working with one for your baby) should also have some to apply to that little tummy!

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