Sports Taping Techniques That Improve Function

As the 2016 Summer Olympic Games is coming to a close most of us have sat down in front of the TV and watched these high level athletes compete while wearing their countries respective uniforms. One thing that we have also seen many of these athletes wearing over the past few Olympic Games is what looks like strands of tape along various parts of their body.

Taping techniques have been part of the healthcare community for decades. Over the years there have been more and more types of tapes introduced with differing effects on the body. Taping can be used to help stabilize or support an area or joint of the body, it can create compression, and it can help correct areas of the musculoskeletal system that may have some sort of restriction or positional fault.


Colorful Kinesiotape

The first type of tape that has really been seen most prominently worn by the athletes is kinesiotape. This colorful tape has significant elastic qualities that enable it to support the muscles, help decrease pressure and to correct joint problems in order to decrease pain. It can be used anywhere on the body from the larger areas of the body like the trunk to smaller areas like the forearm.


A second type of tape that is commonly used by physical therapists and other healthcare professionals is leukotape. This is a very strong tape with very little elastic qualities. It can be used to produce small movements to joints that may have positional faults that are causing one to have pain or poor mechanics. It is quite commonly used on people with kneecap and ankle problems but can also be seen in a variety of areas of the body.

Coban Tape

Another type of tape that has become increasingly popular is known as Coban tape. This is more of a compressive tape that will be used around smaller joints of the body like the ankle, elbow, wrist or hand. It provides a very light compression that will minimally restrict joint mobility for about a 24 hour period.

Athletic Tape

The final type of tape is one that most of us older athletes are familiar with which is athletic tape. This tape is used to provide extra support to a joint. Most times this tape is applied to athletes that have a joint that is unstable or an excessively mobile joint.

When applied properly, tape can be quite effective in improving an athlete or person’s function. It is best to consult a physical therapist or other healthcare professional if you are thinking that taping may be something that will help you so they can assess your dysfunction in order to determine which tape will be most effective for you.

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