Taping on the road - The benefits of Kinesio tape
This summer I worked on the Tour of Spain (La Vuelta) with Team Dimension Data, when we secured our First Grand Tour jersey in the team’s history with Omar Fraile taking the mountains jersey. Treating the riders for 3 and a half weeks when they are riding on some of the toughest terrains means that you need to be able to adapt treatments to suit their needs before, during and after each day of racing.
Osteopaths are not renowned for using any other equipment apart from their hands. New developments and research show how using treatments such as acupuncture and taping can help to enhance recovery and prevent further injury to an athlete. Keeping a rider on the bike during one of the hardest Tour’s is imperative and a challenging task.
Using Kinesio Tape really helped with this. Combined with Osteopathic techniques, massage and acupuncture, the taping added to this medical model by providing support on the bike. For example, a stage where there is a lot of climbing puts an immense amount of stress and tension through the upper body and into the neck. The Kinesio tape helped to alleviate this pressure and take the strain off the rider’s joints, muscles and ligaments so they can climb with more ease and with less discomfort. Ultimately this is what you want to achieve.
As you cannot treat the riders whilst they are cycling, you need to find a way to allow what treatment and adjustments you do off the bike to be translated onto the bike whilst they are pushing their bodies to the limit. I found combining Osteopathy and Kinesio taping meant you could cover the rider from start to finish each and every day.