WHAT IS SPORTS TAPE AND STRAPPING?
Physiotherapists, sports therapists and other medical professionals regularly use taping, bandaging and strapping techniques in the treatment, support and prevention of sports injuries.
Sports Tape, bandages and strapping provide extra support and compression to injured joints and soft tissues.
How do I use Sports Tape?
Taping techniques with sports tape vary considerably depending on the joint or sports injury being treated, and the choice of sports strapping that the physio chooses.
Prevention of sports injuries: It is very common in rugby for example to tape ankles with rigid zinc oxide tape as a method of stabilizing the ankle before players take to the field. Protection of the ankle can also involve lighter support using an elastic adhesive bandage or a cohesive bandage. In non-professional sport, ankle braces or ankle supports are used to prevent ankle sprains.
In rugby, it is also common to see the knee covered in zinc oxide sports tape. These taping techniques are usually performed to support the knee ligaments which give the joint its stability. These may have been weakened due to an earlier injury. It is the rigidity of a quality zinc oxide tape such as Strappal that helps stabilise or immobilize the joint and give added confidence to the player.
Treatment of Injuries: When treating injuries the choice of sports tape depends on the injury. Most commonly on the field of play elastic adhesive bandages, either lightweight such as Lightplast Pro, or standard Elastoplast style tend to be used to patch up players during a match. Cohesive tape is useful for absorbing blood, while zinc tape can be used to tape fingers together for example. The ever- present sock tape or insulating tape is used as a wrap around a bandage to help keep it in place. Again, in rugby this can be sen around the head or thighs of the players to protect the ears, and in line out lifting.
The use of Kinesiology Tape, such as Kinesio is now considered as a true sports tape. Perceived by most as a tape for treating muscle injuries, this tape is used for all types of injuries.
To use this tape correctly it is necessary to undertake sports taping courses. At Vivomed we have developed our own clinical kinesiology taping training course which is available online and at locations throughout the UK and Ireland.
Compression and Support: One of the most common uses of sports tape is to support minor sports injuries such as sprains and strains. EABs, crepe bandages, cohesive bandages and in particular tubular bandages are all used in this way to treat the common knocks , bumps and bruises on the field of sport.
Where to buy Sports tape in the UK?
In the US it is possible to buy tapes in dedicated sports medicine departments of sports shops, but in the UK the quality of products available in sports shops and pharmacies tends to be very poor.
Over the past 20 years companies such as Vivomed have developed world class collections of products available both online and through catalogue supplies for sports clubs.
Our aim is to provide sports medicine physios and team doctors with the highest quality products available. We therefore offer the best known brands in sport such as K-Active Kinesiology Tape, Kinesio Kinesiology Tape, Mueller Sports Medicine, Strappal, Coban Cohesive Bandage, Powerflex Cohesive Bandage and Powertape Cohesive Bandage; Leukotape P Zinc Oxide Tape, Tensoplast Elastic Adhesive Bandage (EAB), Hypafix fixation tape, Leukotape P Combi Pack