Taping / Strapping

Taping / Strapping

Taping and Strapping are common physiotherapy techniques that involve applying adhesive strips to the body to support muscles, joints, and soft tissues. Some, like us, would use the terms interchangeably and for the purpose of this article we will use the term ‘taping’ from now on.

For those interested in the subtle differences between the two:

Taping: Typically uses elastic therapeutic tapes like Kinesio Tape, which stretch and move with the body. This allows for a wider range of motion and can promote proprioception (body awareness).

Strapping: Often uses rigid tapes like Leukotape, which provide more stability and restrict movement. This can be helpful for stabilizing injured joints or preventing hyperextension.

What Is Taping Used For?

    • Pain relief: By supporting muscles and joints, taping can help to reduce pain and inflammation. Taping can also provide subtle changes to joint angles which can help immensely with pain.
    • Improved stability: Taping can help to stabilize joints and prevent excessive movement, which can be helpful for conditions like sprains and strains.
    • Enhanced proprioception: Proprioception is a word used to describe the bodies internal feedback system. It’s how your brain knows where your arm or leg is at any time. Taping can provide sensory feedback to the body, which can help to improve balance and coordination.
    • Postural correction: Taping can be used to gently guide muscles and tissues into a more optimal position, which can help to improve posture. This is very useful for certain conditions such as spinal pain.
    • Promoting healing: Taping can help to support injured tissues, which can promote the healing process. Some techniques provide subtle compression which helps reduce inflammation.

Different Taping Techniques Include:

    • Functional taping: This type of taping is designed to support muscles and joints while allowing for a full range of motion. It is often used for athletes and people with chronic pain conditions.
    • Rigid taping: This type of taping is used to support structures in the early stages of regeneration. This will be used on sprained ankles or other areas where acute tissue damage is involved.
    • Neuromuscular taping: This type of taping is used to stimulate or inhibit muscle activity. It can be helpful for people with conditions like muscle weakness or spasticity.

When Should You Use Taping?

It is important to note that taping should not be used as a substitute for proper diagnosis and treatment from a qualified physiotherapist. If you are considering using taping/strapping, it is important to talk to your physiotherapist to make sure it is right for you.

Often the best thing is to let your Physiotherapist put on the first tape, and then teach you from there. This is because not all taping techniques will work and there is clinical judgement and expertise knowing which techniques to use and when.

Here are some additional things to keep in mind about taping/strapping:

    • Taping should not be applied to broken skin or open wounds.
    • The tape should be applied snugly, but not too tight, as this can restrict circulation.
    • The tape should be removed carefully to avoid skin irritation.
    • If you experience any pain or discomfort while wearing tape, remove it immediately and consult your physiotherapist.

If you need help with any taping techniques, book an appointment to see our Physiotherapists today!