This is a tough one to answer and likely will be a subject of debate for years to come.
Over the last decade, there has been an exponential rise in the use of Kinesiology-type taping in the sports arena. Perhaps in large part due to the exposure given by Kerri Walsh at the Beijing Olympics, the use of this method of taping has become mainstream as a "therapeutic intervention" or "injury management" strategy for recreational and elite athletes alike. Unfortunately, with its rapid rise also comes its potential to rapidly fail!
This is not to say that I disagree or "don't believe" in its clinical applications. The problem I see is when its clinical indications and proper application become ignored in favor of mass marketing.
"The success of the Kinesio Taping Method is dependent upon two factors. One, proper evaluation of the patient's condition to allow for application of Kinesio Tex Tape on the proper tissue. Two, proper application of the Kinesio Taping Technique"
(Kase et al. in Clinical Therapeutic Applications of the Kinesio Taping Method, 2nd ed.)
To put it bluntly, I believe some companies are shooting themselves in the foot (in the long term) by making their product available over the counter. This is not to say that these products should be regulated much like pharmaceuticals (as their side effects are likely minimal). They should simply be applied correctly and for the right reasons.
One such problem with widespread availability is the increased likelihood of self-diagnosing:
From a medical standpoint, I believe the credibility of this product may soon decline if it has yet to do so already. Simply put, if not applied properly, its beneficial effects will be minimal. And as a result, will result in negative publicity and/or an image of just being placebo.
As mentioned above, definitive research is still lacking. Therefore, my professional recommendation to many of the companies manufacturing and distributing these types of products is this:
Unless your customers fully appreciate and understand its beneficial effects for Structural, Neurological, and Microcirculatory mechanisms, and unless your vision is to create a product perceived by public opinion as placebo, I suggest the application of your products be left to therapeutic professionals
I created this blog to share my thoughts with others. It is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis, medical treatment or to replace evaluation by a health practitioner. If you have an individual medical problem, you should seek medical advice from a professional in your community. Any of the images I do use in this blog I claim no ownership of.