The best way for walkers to prevent injuries and shorten healing time is to warm up before they exercise and support the most delicate parts of their legs and ankles as they walk. While we’ve talked extensively about warm up routines in other articles, today we’ll be focusing on support. One of the simplest and most durable supports for walkers is a good set of kinesiology tapes.
Kinesiology tapes are long strips of elastic cotton with one side coated in a skin-friendly adhesive. While taping isn’t really a new technique, kinesiology tapes make the practice more effective and comfortable. They are dramatically more flexible than traditional bandages or the thick, unyielding tap athletes used to use. Kinesiology tapes flex with your body, giving great support without restricting motion. Since they are self-adhering, they’re much better at staying in place than bandages, which slip and slide with motion. These tapes can also go over areas bandages cannot, such as the back. Most importantly, kinesiology tapes lift the skin away from the muscles, which many believe improves function and reduces aches.
Doctors and physical therapists use kinesiology tape to help with everything from sports injuries to chronic inflammatory conditions. You might have even seen sports players wearing long stripes of tape. That tape is kinesiology tape. While professional sports players often wear it to support existing injuries, you can also wear them to minimize or prevent injuries altogether.
Walkers with weak joints, or preexisting conditions like arthritis, can take a lot of the strain off their knees, ankles, and even the lower back by applying kinesiology tape. If you don’t want to over-stress an achy ankle a few days into a new workout routine, you can use the same trick. Since the tape is self-adhesive, it can go essentially anywhere you need it to go.
Another preemptive technique is to use the tape to correct posture and movement. The tape helps boost body awareness, so you notice when you slump or walk incorrectly. It’s a simple fix that can prevent a lifetime of discomfort.
We’ve examined some of the top brands and products available for walkers, and we’ve compiled the results below. Check out a product’s features, previous buyer feedback, and even a short list of pros and cons.
The secret to this great kinesiology tape is in the adhesive. It stays in place better than the majority of the competition and features peel-proof technology. The adhesive is waterproof, allows for lymphatic drainage, and includes hypertonic stimulator technology. The tape is FDA and CE approved, and the high quality components are meant to last. This four-way stretch tape also comes with a money back guarantee.
Active users found this product could keep up with their busy schedules and rigorous routines. Users discussed wearing the tape for days at a time to combat back pain, going so far as to wear it in the shower. Many of the same users say there was no pain when it came time to peel off the tape. Non-athletic users used the tape to take pressure off their feet during a long work day. They also reported that it worked very well. The greatest problem seemed to come from users who only wore the tape for a few hours at a time. They dealt with considerable pain when removing the tape if they didn’t use baby oil.
This tape is designed to minimize irritation and boost performance. It is latex and zinc free, and the adhesive is hypo-allergenic. This sturdy cotton blend stretches up to one hundred and eighty percent to allow for your full range of motion. It is water and sweat resistant, and it can be worn for up to seven days.
Previous users chose this product for a range of reasons, but those who chose it to deal with joint pain seemed to be the most impressed. A handful of users who bought the product through third parties got astonishingly good customer service from the manufacturer if their products were defective. Unfortunately, this product appears to have a fairly high defect rate. While fresh products are sticky enough to work, a pretty high number of users complained that it did not adhere well or stay in place very long. Storage temperature may be an issue for this product.
Unlike the products above, 321 Strong’s tape comes in precut strips. This makes application easier, but it limits potential uses. Each strip is ten by two inches. The adhesive is sweat proof, waterproof, and latex free. It’s safe to wear for up to three days. It offers a one hundred and sixty degree stretch. Best of all, the product comes with a lifetime warranty and satisfaction guarantee.
Several users specifically mentioned using this tape for foot support during long walks and hikes. It stood up to everything they had to throw at it, and many other buyers used it for other purposes. Users who had tried other products found this tape satisfactory but not necessarily equal to others. Several previous users also commented on the manufacturer’s poor customer service.
Everyone works out differently, and everyone sweats in slightly different places at different volumes. This means some tapes with weaker adhesive may work better than others for your specific needs. Overall, though, Physix appears to have the best tape. It has the strongest previous buyer praise, and it seems to last the longest. The biggest critique is that the tape may work too well for short-term use.
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