Monday, 20 May 2013

Kinesio Tape or Rocktape Unfortunately Doesn't Work On Me

Yesterday our local crossfit ART qualified physical therapist held a seminar on kinesio tape or Rocktape. He's been applying it to my shoulder once a week for weeks now. I tore a muscle in my shoulder in February, confirmed with an MRI and it has been very slow to recover. I leave the tape on my shoulder  shower and bathe with it on for 5 days, not really sure what it's doing. I went along to the seminar with my wife in the hope of understanding what the benefits of Rocktape are. I see 50% of crossfitters at the games using it and I was feeling left out because they are all obviously getting some kind of performance enhancement from it.

Seminar was broken into part 1 alleviating pain, and part 2 taping for performance
Here's what we did at the seminar/break out practice sessions

Lower Back

Put 2 strips up your back, helps when you deadlift.
You can feel the tape is there, maybe it helps as a cue because you can feel it stretching when your back bends and it signals to you that you have lost the lumbar spine and should either reengage it or discontinue the lift.

Knee / Calf

Use 2 strips to surround the knee, one piece from ankle up side of leg, split a piece from the ankle, up each side of calf.
The lower leg one seemed pointless. Knee one did give some support in the squat. Not as much support as a knee sleeve though.

Shoulder / Upper back
Put a strip in a sideways "V" shape on your scap to your arm/lat.
Make a "#" sign in tape on your upper back.
This is to lift the skin to allow blood flow for recovery.

Performance 1 - Falling Over Test.
Partner kneels as if shooting a gun, other partner pushes from one side. Choose the side that is the weakest. Apply tape from groin upwards towards nipple. Retest and test subject is magically stronger.
Demonstration was a massive difference.
My wife and I tried this and didn't notice anything different. Lots of other people noticed a difference.

Performance 2 - Balance Test
Partner gets on all fours, raises left arm and right leg, other partner pushes down on right leg. Take the weakest side and then apply tape from lower back diagonally up over back.
Demonstration was a massive difference.
My wife and I tried this and didn't notice anything different. Lots of other people noticed a difference.

Performance 3 - Grip
Put tape on your wrist then spiral outwards finishing back at crux of elbow.
Demonstration was a massive difference.
I tried this by hanging on a pull-up bar for as long as I could with each hand before and after.
Before and after results were the same time.
This test resulted in the what appeared to be the whole room convinced of the powers of Rocktape. Everyone was impressed by this before and after test and I felt ashamed for not feeling the big difference that everyone else did.

Performance 4 - Thruster
Put tap from spine along arms on both sides. Tape from buttock up both sides of spine towards neck.
Demonstration was a massive difference.
We ran out of time for everyone to try this one.

Conclusion
Rocktape seems to help a lot of people. After yesterday I've seen a lot of people feel immediate benefit from its application. But it has no place in my gym bag. For me it has no effect and I'm glad I attended the seminar because now I know. My wife and I also had a lot of fun putting tape on each other for 4 hours, later on we had fun in the bath taking it all off. I gave the Rocktape we received at the seminar to a friend, hopefully he'll be a responder.

It would be more worthwhile spending the time I would use applying Rocktape before training on mobility exercises to loosen up my tight glutes and hips to get a more upright position in the bottom of the squat.

Things that are worth buying in for training (and one person's belief in them)
Lifting shoes: 80% effective, 20% placebo
Heels lifted for better position in the squat (effect), feet feel sucked onto the floor and solid giving a feeling of security (placebo).
Whey Protein: 100% effective
Casein Protein: 100% effective
Wrist straps: never tried them
Gymnastics Tape: 100% effective
Without it my skin tears, the proof is there. Therefore with it on I feel more secure.
Knee Sleeves: 60% effective, 40% placebo
Slight help out of the squat, injured knee noticeably less painful after a workout (effect). Feeling of security having them on (placebo).
Rocktape: 100% placebo
Feels nice having it stuck to you like you're a crossfit games competitor. Helps rehab and performance in most, but so far I have not experienced any benefit.

Some links I found on the internet on Kinesio tape
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22796389
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2182471/Kinesio-tape-Researchers-say-evidence-works.html

1 comment:

Michel Dest said...

A few days ago i got severe pain in my neck . I used Kinesiology Tape . It really worked great. It is magic tape in taking care of pain.