At Wauchope Physiotherapy we use a variety of taping techniques for many injuries or conditions. Taping can be very helpful in the treatment, support and prevention of sports injuries. In saying that, Taping is used as an adjunct to boost the benefits gained from manual therapy and exercises. It is never used purely by itself to treat a condition.
Which Type of Taping will benefit me?
Some forms of taping that we use is designed to limit your joint movement where as other forms of taping are designed to encourage movement, strength and flexibility. Other types of taping help to give you better postural or positional awareness. Tape is often designed to maximise the healing to an injury by providing support and stability to muscles and joints. Our team will assess your individual condition to provide the best results.
Why are all the athletes on TV wearing coloured tape?
Kinesiology Tape (aka Kinesio-tape) was developed by Dr Kenso Kase, in the 1970s but became an overnight sensation in 2008 when the tape was donated for use during the Beijing Olympic games. Since then it has practically become a regular sight on athletes across the world.
How Kinesio-tape works:
- Re-educate the neuromuscular system, by stimulating sensory pathways and improves joint sense in the nervous system which increases feedback to the brain if a joint is being stretched beyond normal limits.
- Reduce pain by offloading the pressure from pain receptors near the skin
- Enhance performance by improving muscle contraction by offloading pressure on the tissue around the muscle
- Injury prevention and reduced fear with movement (which is associated with increased pain levels)
- Promote improved circulation and healing
What does the research say?
Research on its use and effectiveness is limited, mainly due to poor study designs. A recent meta anaylsis (Williams et al. 2012) outlined the benefits of Kinesio-tape:
- Useful to reduce pain in acute whiplash disorders (Gonzalez-Iglesias et al. 2009)
- Better movement/biomechanics with shoulder impingement (Thelen et al. 2008, Hsu et al. 2009)
- Improves spinal flexibility in healthy/uninjured individuals (Yoshida et al. 2007)
- Stronger hand grip strength (Lee et al. 2010)
- increased quadriceps strength (Vithoulka et al. 2010)
- improved biomechanics and strength with patellofemoral pain (Slupik et al. 2007)
What’s Dynamic Tape?
Dynamic Tape allows the wearer to move through full range of motion without limitation – it works under similar principals to Kinesiotape but is made of a Lycra base material which allows for alot more stretch. Dynamic Tape can strongly assist or resist movement, facilitate or inhibit and offload tissue through full range of motion. This is only possible due to the highly elastic nature (no endpoint like kinesiotapes) and four way stretch necessary when taping complex joints.
How does Dynamic tape work?
In many cases the tape is applied in such a way that it mimics the action of the injured muscle or tendon. The tape is placed on the body with the muscle or joint in the shortened position and with stretch on the tape. As the muscle or joint lengthens, the tape is stretched further and thereby absorbs load just as a bungee cord decelerates the jumper, absorbing load. This reduces the eccentric work of the muscles. Once full range is reached, the absorbed energy is stored in the form of elastic potential energy. As the muscle or joint begins to shorten, the energy is released back into the biomechanical chain as kinetic energy, thereby assisting the concentric action of the muscle. This results in decreased workload of the muscle, decreased metabolic demand and improved tolerance to fatigue.
Reducing load may result in less pain, better healing (can load sooner resulting in functional stress and better scar formation), improved endurance and performance.
There are a number of mechanical and physiological mechanisms that are likely to contribute. These are outlined in our free eLearning programs on the resources page of www.dynamictape.com.