Uses of Athletic Tape

Injuries such as sprained ankles are a common occurrence in sports.

Other sports injuries can result in damages and pain to muscles, ligaments and tissue.

Mild damage usually calls for athletic taping.

The uses of athletic tape revolve around two categories; injury prevention and injury management. Athletic taping is the use of tape to achieve either of these two, or both.

Use the tape to hold muscles and tissues in position and restrict movement.

Here is a brief look at the uses of athletic tape and its benefits:

Generic goals

In order to understand the full scope of athletic tape, it is important to examine the generic goals which therapists and/or sports doctors seek to achieve using such tape.

Some of the many goals include the following:

  • Restricting the motion range of injured joints or stopping motion of these joints altogether
  • Reduce swelling by compressing soft tissues
  • Support and maintain the anatomical structure involved in or around the injury
  • Secure bandages and dressings in place
  • Protect injured parts from re-injury during healing
  • Secure a splint by serving as a splint

The role of taping varies from ligament support to enhancing (pro-prioceptive) limb/joint feedback. It is also used for supporting injuries suffered around the muscle tendon units.

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Image credit: flickr

Uses

The uses of athletic tape revolve around two major categories which include the following:

1. Injury prevention – In collision sports, athletic taping is one of the top measures put in place to prevent, or at least reduce injuries. Collision injuries usually result from extrinsic factors like colliding with objects, sports equipment or other players.

Athletic taping is virtually used in all sorts of sports and has been shown to reduce injury severity in most of them. It also prevents the injuries altogether by making sure muscles remain in place, subdue swelling and protect ligaments and joints.

Just like hardening the muscles prevents knock injuries, athletic tapping prevents most sports collisions from turning into painful injuries. Aside from preventing first-time injury, taping also prevents re-injury on recovering muscles and tissues.

Results such as restricted motion, muscles held tightly in place and compressed soft muscles all prevent inflammation and aggravation of the existing injury.

2. Injury management – For injury patients, the goal shifts from prevention to management although preventing re-injury is another crucial element.  In injury management, the uses of athletic tape mainly apply to managing or treating injury symptoms like shin splints (medial-tibial-stress-syndrome), turf toe and patella femoral syndrome.

Post injury benefits are just as varied as injury prevention goals. They include supporting and stabilizing joints following muscle and ligament injuries, reducing and preventing further harm infliction on the injured healing areas, assisting athletes with minor injuries to get back to training and maintaining the proper bio-mechanics during training or any physical activity when recovering.

Others include reducing excessive force on the area when training and preventing various neuromuscular damages.

Athletic taping follows a particular technique that includes preparing the skin on which the tape is adhered and functionally positioning the body.

Application

Athletic tapes can be used on the upper limbs and chest areas including the shoulder, arm, thorax, elbow, wrist and thumb and fingers. Uses in the inferior limb section include the thigh, knee, heel (Achilles heel), ankle, foot and toe as well as bunion. Sometimes athletic taping is combined with wraps and braces for enhanced stabilization of the injured area.

Taping is often seen in track athletes and indoor gaming athletes such as tennis and basketball players.

However, the technique can be done to anyone who suffers muscle and joint injuries. There are different types of athletic tape including high quality and low quality offers. Cheap quality usually corresponds to less effective taping and pooer results.

Conclusion

When looking for athletic tape, it is advisable to purchase from credible online retailers like Amazon.

Make sure you chose high quality tapes from renowned brands or manufacturers of sports medical products.

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