Strapping and taping techniques are some of the most important and viable skills a physiotherapist can have. It can help injury improvement as well as prevent re-injury whilst returning to physical activity. The role of tape is to limit the movement in an injured joint to prevent excess or abnormal movement. In addition, it should provide support to the muscles surrounding the joint that may be under additional strain due to ligament injury.
Another benefit of taping is the enhanced proprioception (kinaesthetic feedback) that the tape provides during movement, i.e. improves coordination. For example: if a taped ankle starts to turn over during a jump, then the tape will restrict this motion and inform the body that it needs to contract muscles to prevent this movement of the ankle. Without this feedback, the athlete may be unaware the ankle has started to invert and land on it badly injuring it again.
Tape should only be used in conjunction with a proper rehabilitation protocol including stretching, mobility, and strengthening exercises. Tape should only be used to protect the unstable joints, where repeated or severe ligament damage has resulted in joint laxity.
For example, athletes who repeatedly suffer ankle sprains due to laxity of the joint may benefit from taping or wearing an ankle brace to support the joint, because the ligaments have been stretched too much to keep the joint in proper alignment.
You have probably seen coloured tape showing up on the legs of athletes in the last few years. Blue, pink or black, it looks pretty cool. But what is it supposed to do?
Kinesio Taping facilitates the body’s natural healing process while offering support and stability to muscles and joints without restricting the body’s range of motion. The kinesio tape has a texture and elasticity of the skin. It increases blood and lymph flow in the area, improving circulation and reducing pain.
The tape’s stretching properties can be used to assist in relaxing the overused muscles and stabilising joints. Talk to us if you would like to know what kinesio taping can do for you.