Taping is used broadly in the therapy and sports world. As of recent, bright colors and on-site physical therapy at sporting events has allowed for the public to become more aware of the options from seeing athletes donned in tape on television and in media photos.
Why use tape?
- Provide security for the athlete returning to activity
- Realign bones, help until ligament is scarred or repaired
- Provide stability and "guidelines" for joint motion that is allowed and discouraged
- Activate certain muscle groups
- Assist in deactivating overactive muscles
- Calm down fascial and nerve pain
When can tape be harmful?
- If used too much, the proprioceptive (or knowing where your body is in space and motion) system can begin to rely on the tape and become "lazy" with activation.
- If used too tightly, can inhibit muscle use and blood flow.
- Is often used to "mask" symptoms to push through one more game, tournament, meet or match.
- Can be used inappropriately when the underlying problem is not fixed.
- Should never be done without coordinated Physical Therapy for strengthening, balance work, and joint health assessment.
What are the various taping techniques?
- General Athletic Taping
- Used, as an example, for ankle sprains, wrist pain, etc.
- Traditionally pre-wrap, white tape
- Can be used with traditional taping, but with extra focus on supporting certain ligaments, or preventing specific joint motion from occurring
- Used to place joint (such as the patella/knee cap) in positions, to encourage muscle activation to keep it there
- Helpful in breaking bad patterns
- Allows body to go through strength and motion that otherwise would be painful, to allow earlier strengthening
- Examples are the bright colored ”strips” and patterns that you see on athletes in practice and competition
- Goal is to take tension off of certain areas, allow improved blood and lymph flow, discourage fascial tightness from building or occurring
- Also is used in recovery for drainage and lymphatic flow issues
Location(s): Burr Ridge, Naperville