Should I tape this or not?!

injury taping

Should I tape this or not?!

We have all these great resources at our fingertips that are associated with taping and tape can be a great tool for providing support to joints, protection and overall injury prevention. To gain these benefits from taping however, you need to be confident in identifying when it is appropriate to use tape.

Firstly, you need to know the injury you are dealing with. Get it thoroughly checked out from a health professional and get some direction about the rehabilitation pathway and where the use of tape fits within this.

Make sure you double check with the patient or athlete prior to application of tape that they don’t have any contraindications to applying tape – that is any skin conditions or allergies that they may have to tape or adhesives that could cause a reaction. This is a definite reason not to tape!

Written below are some indications as to when you would, and would not use strapping tape to help guide your thought process and reasoning:

Why should you be taping?

  • Support ligaments around joints that have been stretched, torn or damaged
  • Immobilise joints and reduce painful or unwanted movements
  • Support the joint to compensate for weak muscles (acutely following injury not recommended at the return to play component of rehabilitation because muscles should be strong by then!)
  • Increase proprioception or joint awareness
  • Improve confidence for returning to play (often more psychological support)
  • Hold dressings in place over other injuries such as blisters, burns or cuts.
  • Protect against impact or irritation.

When not to tape?

  • If you do not know or understand the injury
  • If you do not know what you are aiming to achieve through using tape
  • When the skin is blistered, irritated, cracked or broken.
  • Compromised circulation or sensation in the area to be taped
  • If there is a history of allergies or hyper-sensitive skin conditions

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