Taping has a long history in sports injury usage. Up until recently a number of different static taping methods were used. The general idea was to get the joint into a certain position and keep it from moving into a compromised position, providing structural support to a weakened area of the body.
The development of Kinesiotape has somewhat changed the concepts of taping. Instead of a rigid, inflexible tape, kinesiotape is very stretchy (depending on the type used, up to 180% stretchy). It can be used in the same way as old school tape, providing a rigid support to the body, but it also has a number of other benefits depending on how the tape is applied.
Because of the stretchiness of the tape, when applied it can have a bunching effect over the skin – essentially lifting the skin away from fascia and other structures beneath. In simple terms, this helps provide more space for blood and lymph to move, theoretically improving fluid flow and enabling faster healing from injuries.
The increased fluid flow also promotes lymph drainage and removal of lactic acid from the musculature, this helps reduce muscle fatigue and can help endurance athletes go harder for longer periods. Post exercise, it also helps aid recovery.
When applied across a number of muscles and fascia, with different levels of stretch, the tape can improve proprioception – the feeling of where your body is in space, and the connective feeling between muscles. Sometimes known as “powertaping” this kind of taping can be used as a rehabilitative measure, helping with gait control, or improving the function of muscles around the shoulder joint. It can often be seen on pro-swimmers, triathletes, volleyball players and cyclists, though the usage of this tape is being expanded all the time.
The versatility of the tape can also be seen by its use as a postural correction device. In the same way it helps re-educate muscle firing patterns, when taping for posture, the tape does not simply “hold” you in a specific position – like a crutch – that once taken away is forgotten. The tape is applied to “remind” the muscles to fire, and to give you the stimulus to stay in better posture. The advantage of this is that the muscles are “taught” to stay in a better position, rather than relaxing as the tape takes us the job they should be doing.
We use Rocktape, which is completely Latex free and water resistant. We can apply our tape to you (for a charge depending on how much tape is used), or we can source a roll for you and then help apply it.