Here’s Why Olympic Athletes Wear That Weird Tape

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If you have been following the Olympics, be it the Rio 2016, London 2012, or especially since the 2008 Beijing Olympics, you will notice athletes wearing this colorful tape on their bodies.

Wonder What That Is?

Well that tape called Kinesiology tape or Kinesio tape, which was originally developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase in the mid-1970s. It is similar to an herbal induced over-the-counter medicinal tape used for joint pain and muscle soreness, called Salon Pas, distributed in Indonesia and most of South-East Asia.

Kinesio is like a big adhesive tape, something like a band-aid, made of cotton threads and comes with themed prints, colors and sizes. It is also hypoallergenic, with heat-activated backing, is light and can be stretched to stick onto any part of the body, with a lasting effect of up to five days.
When applied onto any area, it is said to lift layers of skin away from the muscle, so that less friction occurs between them, hence reducing pressure and pain in the area. Kinesio is also said to relieve mild symptoms of fatigue that athletes face such as, sore muscles, headaches, back pain, joint and knee pain and even reduce the effects of more extreme cases such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tennis elbow.

However, there are numerous debates to its real effectiveness. Experts say that it may not relieve more serious health issues, while others say it at least helps counter or reduce pain, which enables athletes to increase movement or make more maneuvers.

Even if this colorful tape is just that, without any real medical backing, a little faith in it could go a long way for every competing Olympian. Thanks to what is called a placebo effect, this could make athletes believe it is helping them anyway, giving them that extra push to run a little faster, jump a little higher or hit that target with a bolster of energy and confidence. As they face those high-stakes in an extremely pressure-packed stadium, as the world watches them do their thing, adorned in some colorful tape.