Taping techniques are widely used in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries. Taping may be defined as the application of adhesive tape – EAB Tape or Zinc Oxide Tape – in order to provide support and protection to soft tissues and joints with minimal limitation of function.
The application of tape is easy, but if it is not carried out correctly it will be of little value and may even be detrimental. Therefore, knowledge of the basic principles and practical aspects are essential if the full value of the technique is to be attained. Tape should reinforce the normal supportive structures in their relaxed position and protect injured tissues from further damage.
Key reasons to Tape:
For Injury Care and Protection during the treatment and rehabilitation program.
- To hold dressings and pads in place
- To compress recent injury, thus reducing bleeding and swelling and hence shortening the recovery time
- To protect from further injury by supporting ligaments and tendons
- To limit unwanted joint movement
- To allow healing without stressing the injured structures
- To protect and support the injures structure in a functional position during the exercise, strengthening and proprioceptive program
It must be clearly understood that taping is not a substitute for treatment and rehabilitation, but is an adjunct to the total injury care program.
For Injury Prevention on return to activity:
Knowing that the injured area is still at risk the recurrence of injury may be prevented by taping the weakened area, with the aim of restricting joint and muscle movement within safe limits. This allows performance with confidence.
Do Not Tape:
- If the injury has not been fully assessed (know the nature of the injury)
- As a first aid measure before assessment
- If the joint is swollen before assessment
- If skin sensation is abnormal
- When injury is acute, joint is unstable, bleeding is present or if there is severe damage
- As a substitute for rehabilitation
- If not familiar with the taping technique for the specific injury