The colorful medical tape that some athletes use on their bodies is known as Kinesio taping. It's intended to help injured athletes by supporting their muscles and joints and alleviate pain and injury while working out. But does it really work? It depends on who you ask. explains its use as "a definitive rehabilitative taping technique that is designed to facilitate the body's natural healing process while providing support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body's range of motion as well as providing extended soft tissue manipulation to prolong the benefits of manual therapy administered within the clinical setting."

The Kinesio taping method was created in Japan in 1979 by a chiropractor and acupuncturist. It didn't make an appearance in the United States until 1995.


People can wear this stretchy tape for several days. It reportedly decreases inflammation in affected areas and can treat everything from chronic pain to cramps. It allows an athlete to perform his or her range of motion without pushing it too far and risking further injury.