Have you ever seen elite athletes wearing that pretty, colorful tape? How about any athletes wearing tape that looks like a tribal tattoo? The answer to the latter question is usually no. I’m here to give you some information about the tribal tattoo tape and talk about why it can be a great alternative to the pretty, colorful tape.
First off, the pretty, colorful tape is referred to as Kinesiotape or sometimes K-tape. This has been adapted by several companies such as KT-Tape, Rock Tape, etc…
Secondly, the tribal tattoo tape is referred to as Dynamic Tape. This tape was developed by an Australian Physiotherapist named Ryan Kendrick and is slightly different in its properties from Kinesiotape.
So what does tape do when it’s applied to your skin?
Dynamic tape has 2 main purposes:
- It initiates a neurophysiological response, which is a fancy way of saying that the brain senses the tape on the skin and says “hey, that feels good, I don’t feel pain anymore.” [Kinesiotape functions this way as well]
- It provides biomechanical support to the tissues. It does this in 2 ways: it can offload an injured tissue by doing the work that the tissue would normally do, which allows the injured tissue to heal. In addition, it can help to modify movement by providing assistance or resistance to certain body parts, depending on how the tape is placed. [Kinesiotape does not have the ability to do this]
So what does this look like?
Here’s an example of a technique used to offload the Achilles tendon in the case of an individual experiencing a calf tear, Achilles tendon injury, or plantar fascitis:
Here’s an example of a technique used to modify movement that can be used for individuals that are experiencing shoulder pain:
These are just 2 of several different ways to utilize the tape. In my personal opinion, I have seen more success with the use of Dynamic Tape both with my patients and with myself! If you are interested in learning more about Dynamic Tape please visit their website found HERE. If you are a PT or DPT student that is interested in taking a course on Dynamic Tape, check out MedBridge Education or Southeast Sports Seminars.