Physiotherapists commonly use taping as a way of giving joints additional stability, offloading painful structures, inhibiting or facilitating activation of a particular muscle group or tendon and for pain relief. Taping has been shown to give proprioceptive feedback, meaning that the brain is more aware of what is happening in that area and can send the appropriate signals back to tell the muscles and tendons what to do. Some types of tape can apply compression which helps with swelling management and drainage of haematoma’s. The application of the tape is specific to every individual and your Physiotherapist will use clinical reasoning to determine the taping method they advise and use. The choice of taping technique will also be influenced by other factors such as patient preference, 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), elbows, shoulders and back.
There are many different taping techniques and dozens of different brands of tape which can make it difficult for individuals to know what would be best for them. It is advised that any individual wishing to apply tape has consulted an expert such as a Physiotherapist first, to ensure they are applying the tape safely and effectively to an injured area.
Kinesiology tape can be used on a wide range of common musculoskeletal and neural conditions due to the diversity of how it can be applied, some examples include; muscle strains, tendinopathies, joint sprains and muscle imbalances. The tape is waterproof, breathable, hard-wearing and can be left on for up to 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
Rigid taping such as Zinc Oxide, is used to support painful or hypermobile joints. It is commonly used after ligament sprains to provide more support to the joint which reduces pain and provides stability. This helps to protect the injured area, enabling the tissue to heal and reducing the risk of recurrence of the injury. It is commonly used by sports persons who still need to train or compete whilst injured and is commonly used by Physiotherapists working in sports clubs.
At Metro Physio, we work with a lot of sport persons and teams and therefore have considerable experience in taping.
If you would like to find out if taping would be suitable for your injury or would like to book an appointment – Please click here to contact us as we would love to help you.