Why was Ballotelli wearing coloured tape?
7/4/2012 7:02:30 PM -
In the Euro 2012 Championship, Italian striker Mario Balotelli was sporting three tramlines of blue sticky tape on his back
In the Euro 2012 Championship, Italian striker Mario Balotelli was sporting three tramlines of blue sticky tape on his back.
And at Wimbledon, Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic has had his elbow patched up with the same stuff.
So what's behind this latest sporting fad?
The Japanese makers of Kinesio tape say it gives players an edge by mending injuries.
Although it might seem like a new idea, the tape has been around since the 1970s.
Dr Kenzo Kase says he came up with the design because he found standard taping techniques, like conventional strapping, too restrictive for his patients.
Although standard strapping provides muscle and joint support, it limits movement and, according to Dr Kase, gets in the way of the healing process by restricting the flow of inflammatory fluids below the skin.
Kinesio tape is different, he says, because it lifts the skin to assist this lymphatic flow, which, in turn, reduces pain and swelling.
However, Dr Kase admits there have been too few studies to prove these scientific claims.