latest news

How Does Sports Taping Help?

sports tape by physiotherapist

If you have ever watched or played sport you would have seen an athlete with tape on. As physiotherapists, we use tape as a valuable injury management tool that can allow our patients to feel less pain and return back to activity earlier due to the extra support that it provides joints and muscles.

What is taping?

Taping is when you apply an adhesive tape temporarily around a structure to help aid support to potentially weak or injured tissue during the healing process. The aim of the tape is to provide extra stability to the anatomical joint, aid in soft tissue compression to prevent swelling, prevent unwanted movement or restrict movement at the joint and help prevent re- injury to the site.

Types of tapes commonly used by physiotherapists

ankle tape by physiotherapist in Ryde

By far, the most common tape used is rigid tape. It is a non-stretch, highly adhesive tape that provides maximum support and control to a joint. Less commonly used is kinesiology tape, which is becoming increasingly popular over the past decade. It is a high stretch, less adhesive tape which can also assist joints and muscles, but also allow for more movement of the joint. Depending on the application technique, the kinsiology tape can also provide the muscles assistance, which can take some of the load off a muscle that is compromised.

What are the key reasons why a physiotherapist might tape a patient?

  • To help relieve your pain at the injured site
  • To help to improve your joint stability
  • To help improve athlete confidence
  • To help reduce injury recurrence
  • To help prevent injury
  • To reduce strain on injured or vulnerable tissue
  • To correct faulty biomechanics 

knee tape by physiotherapist in Ryde

What are the possible side effects or complications of using tape?

With taping the main side effect we see as a physiotherapist is a skin irritation. If you have never been taped before it might be worth checking prior to getting tape applied over a whole joint. What you can do is take a small piece of rigid tape and apply it on your skin. If your skin reacts within 30 minutes please take it off and please let your physiotherapist or trainer know you have an allergy prior to getting taped again (if it is suitable for you).

To address this issue, we do have something called Fixomull. It’s  another adhesive tape that has a reduced risk of causing skin irritation and can be applied underneath the rigid tape, avoiding direct contact the skin and most cases resolving the issue.

If you have an injury and are thinking about how taping can help. Please feel free to contact us to explain how we can help with your injury and if taping will be suitable for you in your rehabilitation, or how it can be used to reduce your risk of re-injury whilst doing what you love.


ready to book? let's do it!