Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kinesio Tape: Scientifically Sound or Witch Doctor Worthy?

At Run Junkie we believe in sound science, so we've been very skeptical of the colored witch doctor tape many of the athletes in Beijing have been using on their injuries. That OCD prone injured athletes latch on to something at such a critical moment certainly doesn't mean it actually helps, even if it doesn't hurt. But in today's New York Times, Tara Parker Pope reviews some of the reasoning and evidence (however meager) backing the tape, called Kinesio (post). We'll withhold judgement for now - a rarity for us to be sure.


Freeman said...

Just saw that the Vancouver Sun has posted a story on this stuff. Sounds like witch doctor ideas to me. Any more info to report / new studies?


margo said...

Patients love Kinesio tape! Here is a comment from one of my patients....

"Thank you so much for working with me two times in one day, and on such short notice. The magic you worked - adjusting me, and the "Volleyball" tape worked wonders and I was able to run the entire Rock N Roll Marathon! I had a slow and consistent pace for the entire race, and was able to run all of it and not have to walk at all. Even at miles 20 through 26 where runners typically are not doing so well, I was feeling great and running strong! As I ran, I kept remembering the quote, "Pain is temporary. Pride is forever." As I thought about that during the race I couldn't help but be thankful that I had no pain in my knee. I am so proud to have run all 26.2 miles, and am grateful that you were a big part of my first marathon. "

Anonymous said...

"Patients love Kinesio tape!"

So? The Placebo Effect is a proven fact, for one. For two, it only takes one day and a couple classes, and a $99 test to 'treat' people with this tape. It was invented by a crank who thinks the color of the tape matters in healing.
Thirdly, LOTS of people are happy with acupuncturists of any random, meridian-aligning, stripe, and that practice is utter nonsense too.

Now, I'd imagine some tape could do something in certain ways, but there's no real science here. This a huckster scam company, turned famous only after donating a ton of tape during the Beijing Olympics and having some, probably also superstitious, athletes give it a try it. Free global publicity windfall.

The Scientific Method is there to prove these sorts of claims. 25 years after it's invention....ZIP. Get a clue suckers.