On Thursday, the U.S. men's national soccer team announced a sponsorship deal with KT Tape, a supplier of kinesiology therapeutic tape based in Lindon, Utah. The advanced medical accessory "will be worn by players in upcoming major tournaments" such as the 2014 World Cup in Sao Paulo, according to the team's rep in a May 29 email to Examiner.com.
Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape
Kinesiology therapeutic (KT) tape has become prominent among pro soccer players in recent years, starting with the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Thursday's sponsorship deal allows U.S. players to use the accessory for physical and medical support, and they'll also get tips on how to properly apply the tape on different areas of an athlete's body.
There are over 3.5 million sports injuries that occur each year, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.
So why are therapeutic tapes becoming more popular among athletes?
"[It] enables people [to] stop worrying about pain and injuries and get back to doing what they love," says Jim Jenson, founder of KT Tape, in a May 30 interview with Examiner.com. "There are other alternatives that people can use like braces, or analgesics, but KT Tape is 100 percent natural, lightweight, comfortable to wear, and stays on for multiple days at a time- including in the shower or pool."
With the U.S. Soccer Federation (USSF) signing a three-year partnership, members of the U.S. men’s national soccer team will use KT Tape in the 2014 FIFA games, which begin June 12 in Brazil.
The kinesiology tape adds support in ankles, calves, knees, thighs, hamstrings, necks and backs during training and competition. The elastic sports tape provides athletes with pain relief and support for hundreds of common injuries. It supports sore muscles and joints without the bulk or limiting the body's natural movement.
Similar tapes have been used outside sports for nearly four decades, according to KT Tape's founder. "Healthcare KT Tape was a clinical product that was invented nearly 40 years ago," says Jenson. "It is used to treat a range of orthopedic, neuromuscular, neurological, and medical conditions."
It's also been used to treat wounded soldiers. Jenson adds: "Military KT Tape is available at the base stores in all branches of the military which has really helped facilitate consumer awareness and adoption. This has generated increasing levels of awareness and interest from the medical staff supporting the soldiers."