Look out for North East based Kinesio Taping everywhere at the London Olympics this year. The brightly coloured, therapeutic tape first came to prominence in the Bejing Olympics in 2008 and since then has been worn by high profile, international athletes from almost every single sport there is, including David Beckham, Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, cyclist Lance Armstrong and footballer Gareth Bale who endorses the product.
We�ve seen diver Tom Daley, triple jumper Phillips Idowu, and Stuart Stokes (Olympic 3000m steeplechaser) all wearing Kinesio Taping in the last year, and Italian striker Mario Balloteli wore it during Euro 2012. The product has taken the athletics world by storm and is even used in equine physiotherapy too so you can expect to see many multi-coloured limbs at London 2012 � including those of horses!
Darlington based Chartered Physiotherapist Lee Clark is one of only two Kinesio instructors in the country qualified to use Kinesio Taping on horses. He has been chosen by LOCOG to be one of a small team of equine physiotherapists, vets and farriers providing services to horses at the London 2012 Olympics. When not working at the Olympics, Lee treats both horses and humans. He specialises in tendon and ligament injuries and treats racehorses, eventers, show jumpers and dressage horses all over the North � as well as their riders!
Kinesio Taping was developed in Japan by Dr Kenzo Kase during the 1970s and Kinesio UK was set up with a head office in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2004. Since then the company has trained over 200 football club physiotherapists in the Kinesio Taping technique from every UK Premiership football club, as well as over 2000 additional healthcare professionals in UK, South Africa and India.
In 2012 a pre-cut version of Kinesio Taping was launched exclusively in Boots stores throughout the UK. Shoppers can choose back, neck, shoulder, knee, foot and wrist packs from the Kinesio pre-cut range.
�Unlike other forms of strapping or bandaging, Kinesio Taping gently supports the injury whilst still allowing a full range of movement.� says Nick Livadas, a senior physiotherapist and qualified Kinesio Practitioner who works for Connect Physical Health in Newcastle upon Tyne.
Physiotherapist Penny Macutkiewic who manages The Performance Clinic at Gateshead Stadium has been working with members of Team GB and ParalympicsGB in the run up to the OIympics She says: �Kinesio is a great addition to athlete preparation as it can be used throughout the stages of injury from acute through to end stage. It is also non restrictive so athletes love it.�