What is taping?
Physiotherapists can use taping as a way of giving joints and muscles additional support and for pain relief. It is often used in acute injuries and when returning to sport and activities.
The application of the tape is specific to every individual and each individual injury. The choice of taping technique will also be influenced by factors such as medical history, comfort, how long it needs to stay on for and whether it needs to be waterproof. Areas of the body that are commonly taped on sports persons include the feet, ankles, thumbs, anterior knees (patellofemoral joint), knee ligaments (medial ligament), elbows, shoulders and back.
If you are intending to tape a joint or muscle yourself, it is advised that you have consulted your Physiotherapist first, to ensure they are applying the tape safely and effectively to an injured area.
Kinesiology tape (K-tape) is the newest type of taping which you may have seen lots of professional athletes/sports people wearing. It comes in lots of different colours and patterns so is very recognisable and has really caught the public’s attention.
The tape is waterproof, breathable, hard-wearing and can be left on for up to 5-7 days so it has a long-lasting effect on the injury. Kinesiology tape is elastic and flexible so can be used over any part of the body without “rubbing” or “slipping”. Kinesio tape can be applied to any muscle group, but the person applying needs to have a good understanding of the origin and insertions of that muscle group and knowledge about the muscle function so the tape can be applied effectively. The benefits of Kinesio tape include;
- Pain relief
- Inhibition of painful or over-active segments of muscle
- Activation of weak muscles
- Swelling reduction
- Absorption of haematoma
- Reduction in swelling by assisting lymphatic drainage
- Improved proprioception
- Improved performance
There may an extra charge when taping is involved.