Sports Strapping

What is taping and strapping?

You may have seen football players on TV with either beige, black, white or fluro tape on their body. this is sports taping. There are 2 basic types of sports taping.

Rigid tape

This is either the beige, black or white tape. this is used to reinforce body parts and support an injury, or prevent injury (prophylactic taping).

Elastic tape (K Tape)

This is generally a bright colour. this tape is used to provide feedback to your body part and is generally used when you are already injured.

What is sports strapping used for?

Sports strapping (or taping) is used to provide external support to a body part. This tape will help to support a body part that is recovering from injury or support body parts to prevent injury.

When you are returning to sport after injury the tape will be used to support the injured structure. Rigid tape would generally be used to limit joint range of motion (e.g after a wrist injury) or to support your body’s own ligaments (e.g ankle sprain). Elastic tape (or K Tape) is commonly used to support injured muscles when returning to running and lifting.

How does strapping prevent injury?

Strapping works in 3 ways.

1/ Preventing joint range of motion- Rigid tape is used to prevent the excessive movement in a joint. This excessive movement may be due to hypermobility syndrome or simply having pain at the extreme ends of your natural range of motion. This can be used to prevent injury, or when you are recovering from injury.

2/ Reinforcing Ligaments/ muscles- Rigid tape is used to support the ligaments. Examples of this are thumb strapping, knee strapping and ankle strapping. The tape acts as a “check strap” to prevent excessive sideways movement of joints.

3/ Proprioceptive feedback- This is a more complex mechanism, it refers to our body’s own balance system. By using tape on our skin we provide extra feedback to our nervous system. Therefore our nervous system will activate our own muscles much faster and more powerfully so we can support our own structures. A good example is ankle strapping. If our ankle is strapped and we roll slightly, this will activate stretch receptors in our skin before the stretch receptors in our ligament. our muscles will activate faster and “right” our balance much faster.

How do we strap sports injuries?

There is no real limit on the body parts that we can strap after an injury. However the effectiveness of this taping at supporting the body and/ or preventing injury is varied. There are some basic strapping techniques that are very effective and commonly used in many sports. These are

Shoulder strapping

Ankle strapping

Knee strapping

Elbow strapping

Wrist strapping

Thumb strapping

Wrist strapping

Peakhurst Physiotherapy has partnerships and provides some strapping services with local sports clubs within the Peakhurst, Lugarno, Oatley and Riverwood areas.

By Peakhurst Physio

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