Should you tape your sore muscles?

Kinesiology tape, also known as K-Tape, is used by runners and other athletes to support joints and ease muscle pain. Here’s how it works, plus three brands to try

Sore muscles? Tape ’em

In cooler weather, we are more susceptible to muscle and joint pain while training. It takes our bodies longer to warm up, and ice and snow make it easy to slip. Kristen Hoffman, a physiotherapist at Excel Physiotherapy in Port Moody, B.C., suggests doing a longer warm-up. If pain or injury does occur, kinesiology tape, or K-Tape, is a drug-free remedy. “It’s great for acute injuries with swelling, like ankle sprains, because the elasticity has a compressive effect,” says Hoffman. It’s also easier to keep on and less bulky than a tensor bandage.

Depending on which direction the tape is applied, it either increases muscle tone, helping support the joint, or decreases and relaxes muscle tone, so the muscles, not the tape, support the joint. Hoffman encourages using K-Tape in conjunction with range-of-motion exercises, massage and icing.

Click through for three brands to try.