Sports taping - why bother?

January 25th 10:52am

Many injuries can benefit from a sports taping technique which can offer support, protection and increase the proprioception or feeling of a joint. However, a thorough knowledge of the injury is needed before taping should be applied.

Before applying strapping or taping a therapist will assess the injury, comparing range of movement with the uninjured limb as well as looking for any contraindications or skin problems or allergies which would mean taping is not suitable. The therapist will also check there are no rashes or broken skin. For best results hair should be removed. This will provide the best surface to apply tape and be a lot less painful when removing! Underwrap can be used if removing hair is not an option.

Why bother to tape?

  • Tape is used to hold dressings in place for cuts, burns, blisters or open fracures.
  • To immobilize a joint preventing unwanted and painful movement. It can also compensate for weak muscles and lax ligaments in joints.
  • To pad the area protecting against impact or irritation which may make an injury worse.
  • As a psychological support. Tape can make some players feel more confident on the injured limb. Tape also increases the kinesthetic feedback or sensitivity of a joint helping to decrease the chance of re-injuring it.

When not to tape?

  • When you don't know about the injury you are treating.
  • When the skin is broken.
  • When the subject is allergic to tape (usually latex in the tape).

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