Taping is used as one of the means of rehabilitation or prophylaxis in instances where support and stability are needed, as a first-aid tool, for the prevention of injury and protection of an injured anatomical structure while healing is taking place.
The Aim of Taping
Tape may be used to:
- Minimise the risk of injuries
- Provides support to a joint
- Limit abnormal or excessive joint movement
- Facilitates muscle activation for better joint support
- Support tendon and ligament injuries
- Provides greater confidence when returning to sport
- Support spine and correct posture
Types of Taping
There are 2 different types of tapes that are most commonly used; Rigid taping and Kinesiology taping. Each type differs in its properties and is used for different purposes. Generally, Rigid taping can be left for a day while Kinesiology taping can be left for up to 5 days.
As stated from the name, this tape is stiff and rigid which aids in supporting a joint. This is commonly used in the treatment of acute ligament sprains, or for the prevention of sprains. The tape is strapped around the joint to provide additional support and improve stability or reduce pain. Rigid tapes do not last long on the skin and are generally removed after 1 day.
This is a tape made of cotton fibers with polymer elastic strands, giving the tape the ability to stretch. With such elastic and pliable properties, it allows the tape to be stretched when it is applied to the skin, lifting the skin layer on top of the muscle. This lift creates a small gap between the skin and muscle layer, allowing for increased blood flow and lymphatic drainage around the area. This can help to reduce swelling around the affected area. Kinesio tapes can last for up to 5 days, as long as the tape does not fray.