It's bright, it's funky and it's flexible- Kinesio Tape is worn by high-profile sports stars such as David Beckham, Lance Armstrong and Gareth Bale. The brightly coloured, lightweight therapeutic taping that originated in Japan alleviates pain and relieves tension in muscular and joint injuries, but unlike other forms or strapping or bandaging, allows a full range of movement.
Amateur triathlete James Shuttleworth, aged 20, is a second year medical student at St George's, University of London. James has completed many triathlons, including the Virgin London Triathlon in July 2011, and he wishes to qualify as a Great Britain Age Grouper in 2012, so he can compete at an international level.
James undertook a week of intense training in the French Alps this September, involving climbing nine mountains and 50,000 feet over five days. Unfortunately, midway through the trip, he began to suffer from knee pain, but didn't think much of it until the final day when it was colder, and his knee became stiff and more painful.
On his return home, James was diagnosed with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome- often known as 'runner's knee.' This is a common ailment for cyclists as well as runners, caused by heavy stress upon the knee, which causes a dull, aching pain under or around the front of the kneecap. James had started taking Ibuprofen midway through the trip, and continued to take them for two weeks. However, he was worried about the potential side effects of Ibuprofen. He says:
"My friend, a doctor, recommended Kinesio Tape after using it himself, following suggestions from physiotherapists at the hospital he worked at. He then showed me the basic principles of applying Kinesio Tape, as taught to him by a Kinesio Taping qualified instructor. I like the supportive nature of the tape, which doesn't compromise any flexibility or movement across the knee joint. Having used some different types of support, I find Kinesio Tape to be the least intrusive. The injury has pretty much gone now, however I'm continuing to use the tape to support the knee until I am sure all is well again. I will be keeping a roll handy for whenever I feel niggles to help prevent injury, allow me to continue training and reduce pain."
Kinesio Taping is available in handy, light-weight, pre-cut packs, available to buy online or in-store exclusively at Boots for £5.99. Choose from pre-cut packs for lower back, neck, shoulder, knee and foot- ideal for mending on the move!