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Why do footballers wear tape on their muscles?

The tape which footballers and other athletes wear on their muscles is actually stretchy, adhesive tape called kinesiology tape or elastic therapeutic tape.

Kinesio Tex Tape, was developed in the late 1970s by Dr. Kenzo Kase, a Japanese chiropractor who wanted a tape that provided support but didn’t limit movement the way traditional athletic tapes do.

How does kinesiology tape work?

Kinesiology tape is really stretchy.. like REALLY stretchy. It is made of a blend of cotton and nylon. The tape is designed to imitate the skin’s elasticity so the footballer can still be mobile through their full range of motion once applied to the skin. The tape has medical-grade adhesive which is water-resistant and strong enough to stay attached for up to five days, surviving sweat, rain and showers.

Kinesiology tape is often used to add extra support to muscles or joints in situations where there is weakness or strain. For example patellofemoral stress syndrome, IT band friction syndrome, or Achilles tendonitis.

Unlike standard white medical or athletic tape, kinesiology tape allows normal movement and some studies show that it can enhance movement and endurance. Studies on athletes have shown that when kinesiology tape is used on fatigued muscles, performance improves.