05 Dec Should I Tape my Injury?
There are differing opinions about taping, in particular rigid taping, in regard to the muscles and ligaments around the joint becoming weak and then becoming dependent on the tape. Here are my thoughts…
Firstly, it will depend on what the injury is and what you would like to achieve by taping it. For example, is it for pain relief? Or to make the joint more stable? Or a bit of both?
Secondly, you need to understand the difference between the types of tape available. The two most commonly used are:
Rigid tape: Typically brown in colour, it is non-elastic and applied to joints to restrict certain movements (provide stability). It is most commonly used when you have torn a ligament or there is some long-term instability in a joint e.g. the ankle.
Kinesiology tape: Comes in many different colours, is elastic and applied to the skin on stretch. It allows full range of movement and is more used to decrease pain and promote healing in injured tissues e.g. muscles and tendons.
I typically recommend tape be utilised during the early phase of your injury (under the guidance of a physio). Then focus on rehabilitating the injured area so that long-term taping is not required (because you have strengthened your supporting tissues). I often recommend it on initial return to sport for the extra confidence, but it is not something that I encourage ongoing when there is no longer a deficit compared to the other side. If there is ongoing instability or pain, I recommend working with your physio on specific exercises to help you address the cause rather than relying on tape
For more info on kinesiology tape and its purpose, check out one of my earlier blogs here.
To find a physio in your area of Australia or New Zealand click here.