You may have been thinking to yourself while watching the British Open this year, what the heck was on Tiger’s neck? Or you may already know about kinesiology tape, k-tape for short, from watching the Olympics in the last few years, or even watching Michelle Wie on the LPGA Tour. Since Tiger had K-tape on his neck at the British Open, we have been getting a lot more questions from patients and even messages on our social media accounts about it.
With the long grind of the PGA tour season and the repetitive motion of the golf swing, little aches and pains slowly build up over the course of the season. K-Tape is one way we can minimize these aches and pains, to keep our guys healthy for the Fed-Ex Cup and Ryder Cup at the end of the season. Since there is barely an off-season now, our guys need every advantage they can get to stay healthy for every tournament. K-Tape is another tool we use on our professional golfers, and you can use it too to play pain-free golf.
What is K-Tape?
Kinesiology tape is different than regular athletic tape. The purpose of athletic tape is to restrict mobility, this is the kind of tape you will see after an athlete sprains an ankle to restrict movement of the joint. Contrariwise, K-tape is elastic, and therefore aids in mobility. It stretches and allows you to have full range of motion during activity, this is why Tiger was able to wear it on his neck and play golf without restricting his swing at the Open. There are many different brands of tape, here at ChiroSport we have recently teamed up with KT-Tape. We like KT-tape because it comes in pre-cut strips, which is good for on the go application, and it lasts longer than other brands we have tried. Typically an application of KT-tape will last 3-4 days, where you can do full activity with the strips on, including golfing, working out, showering and sleeping.
What does K-Tape do?
The simplest way to think about K-tape is to think of it as aid. It helps to support the function of a muscle, tendon, ligament or joint while still allowing full range of motion. The tape gives some stimulation to the skin, and feedback to your brain to give that area more attention. Have you ever bumped your elbow and instantly rubbed it? The skin stimulation helps to reduce pain and improve blood flow to the area. It’s the same idea as having K-tape on an injury.
Applying K-tape also pulls up on the skin, allowing a decompression effect in an area where you have inflammation built up. The theory is similar to that of Cupping, the subject of a future article, where decompression of the area encourages blood flow, to both flush out inflammation and bring in new blood for proper healing.
The main idea behind K-tape is that it helps reduce soreness, aches and pains, and improves recovery from an injury. This will help you recover from an injury and keep you playing pain free golf going into the future.
How do injuries occur?
Most injuries we see here at ChiroSport are overuse or repetitive motion injuries. What these injuries have in common is they are all soft tissue based. This includes muscles, tendons and ligaments. Overuse or repetitive motion causes a lack of blood flow to the soft tissue. The lack of blood flow causes your body to lay down scar tissue or adhesions, weakening the soft tissue and decreasing your range of motion.
A common issue we see with our amateur golfers is that he or she will be texting or sitting at a computer all day at work, stressing the lower back and neck muscles, and then go straight to the golf course. Now you are taking a weak and shortened muscle to the golf course and swinging 100 mph 50 times a round. The repetitive motion of the golf swing can then stress the already weakened muscles causing lower back pain and neck tension. K-tape can help alleviate some of the pressure on the stressed and injured area by supporting it and distributing the forces of the golf swing to the surrounding areas of your body.
What issues can K-Tape help with?
Lower back pain
These soft tissue injuries, whether acute or chronic, are the most common injuries we see with golfers at ChiroSport Specialist every day. K-tape can help with recovery from an acute injury, in addition to reducing the soreness or achiness from a chronic, nagging injury. KT-Tape can help to support the aforementioned soft tissue injuries, as well as many others, and keep you playing pain free golf.
No matter what the injury, we recommend getting evaluated by one of our professionals at ChiroSport to rule out structural damage or any risks involved with continued activity. There are many different techniques of application for KT-Tape, which are based not just on the specific injury, but also on an individual’s biomechanics, strengths, deficiencies and asymmetries. The pattern of tape, direction of application and differentiating tensions all vary by the individual.
To get the best results, the key is to get evaluated and assessed by one of our professionals here at ChiroSport to determine which application is best for your injury, your body and your swing.Visit www.chirosportspecialists.com for more details!