They were all over the Olympics with bright strips of tape decorated across their bodies like a fashion statement, some matching their uniforms and others choosing to opt for a modest look.  David Beckum, U.S. silver medalist in decathalon Trey Hardee, German beach volleyball star Katrin Holtwick, and even ping-pong players were reportedly wearing it.

It's called kinesio tape. The tape has been around for decades, but during the London 2012 Olympics, it has been spotted stretching and spiraling in interesting patterns on some athletes.Now that the Olympics has come and gone, kinesio tape has attracted more attention than ever as result of seeing their favorite Olympians wearing them.

Whether your training for a marathon, a gold medal or just participating in your favorite sport, there is nothing worse than getting an injury.  Fortunately, with the advancement of kinesio tape, athletes now have an alternative to the typical braces, athletic tapes and pain meds. The lightweight, flexibility, and comfort that kinesio tape provides makes injuries less of a burden on athletes and easier to treat.  Another draw is that Kinesio tape provides 24 hour relief per application for days at a time, its waterproof and they come in a variety of colors. Try that with a brace.

The primary uses of the tape are to treat and prevent hundreds of common injuries such as knee pain, shin splints, and tennis elbow. Most trainers and doctors use it to help improve balance in athletes, and prevent excessive protraction injuries -- in layman's terms, shoulder problems from activities including playing tennis. KT Tape provides stability and support for joints by providing an external layer of support around the joint. By applying the soft and stretchy cotton tape in the right area, the tape will pull at your skin when you start to overextend your arm, reminding you not to.

Kinesio tapes outweighs traditional athletic tape, not only from its thin and pliable texture, but the tape keeps  injured joints from bending to prevent further injury.  With all the strips of colors worn by athletes in all sorts of patterns it is easy to wear the tape incorrectly.  To understand the mechanics and how to apply the tape to injuries watch this short video.

Kinesio tape can be found at chiropractors and specialty sports stores.  For specific locations in your area refer to