Taping, also known as strapping, is a common skill practiced by Physiotherapists.
Taping is commonly seen in sports and used to reduce the likelihood of injuries, such as ankle sprains, and used to enhance performance. However, it can also be used as an integral part of physiotherapy treatment to effectively manage common injuries and conditions. These include but are not limited to: plantar fasciitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, patella fat pad impingement, lateral ankle sprains and lower limb acute/overuse conditions.
Taping can reduce pain and strain on injured tissues and swelling, as well as provide biomechanical correction for normal movement, increase passive stability, help with muscle inhibition/facilitation and enhance proprioception (sense of joint position).
There are two common types of tape – rigid and dynamic (or kinesio-tape). Rigid tape is primarily used to limit movement and physically support joints and anatomical structures, whereas, dynamic tape can be stretched and generally used to assist muscle function during movement due to the elastic potential energy in the tape. In addition to the different types of tapes, there is a variety of taping techniques used for different body parts for unique injuries/conditions and purposes.
For example, McConnell taping is a specific taping technique used to treat patellar mal-tracking in patellofemoral pain syndrome of the knee. Rigid tape is used to reposition and correct the alignment of the kneecap to allow normal movement and optimal muscle function, therefore, reducing pain.
Your Physiotherapist may choose to use taping as an effective adjunct in your treatment to assist your rehabilitation or performance. As precautionary measures, your skin integrity is checked for sensitivity, infections, fragility, open wounds, sensory loss and circulatory problems. A hypoallergenic underlay is usually applied first with rigid tape to reduce allergic responses that may occur. If you experience itchiness, redness, hotness, pain, blistering and/or raising of the skin, take the tape off.
If you want to be strapped or are interested to find out more about how taping can help you, come visit our highly skilled Physiotherapists at Bend + Mend in Sydney’s CBD.
Constantinou, M. & Brown, M. (2010). Therapeutic Taping for Musculoskeletal Conditions. Sydney, Australia: Elsevier.