Sports First Aid : Adhesive Tapes And Strapping

Sports injuries occur in athletic activities. They can result from acute trauma, or from overuse of a particular body part. Traumatic injuries can include bruise, straining of muscle fibres, sprain. When soft tissue experiences heavy trauma, inflammation occurs and shows up in the form of accute pain, and sometimes localized swelling. One may also experience heat or loss of function of that part of the body.

Many taping techniques are used by most physiotherapists, sports therapists and also athletic trainers to treat, support and also prevent sports injuries. Sports physio in Brisbane regularly use tape in strapping and taping techniques on professional and recreational athletes in the prevention, treatment and rehabilitation of sports injuries. Sports Tapes are used to give the much needed support and to injured joints as well as soft tissues.

A variety of sports use taping to prevent injury. In karate, the foot is taped to prevent injury. Adhesive tape is often used to help athletes recover from ligament sprains of the ankle or to help prevent further injury. Ankle strapping is becoming a ritual for many sports players to support and protect the ankle ligaments. Sports most commonly associated with ankle sprains include basketball, football, baseball and soccer.

Various taping and strapping materials can be used depending on the type of tape job required.

Basically three types of sports taping and strapping is used in the sports industry. They are Zinc oxide, elastic adhesive and cohesive bandage.

Zinc oxide tapes are standardly white coloured or occasionally tan or brown colored, not very elastic and rather sticky. It is known to have different types of applications, they have their set of disadvantages particularly limiting joint movement or making sure that the skin does not blister. It is advised that these tapes should seldom or never used with or on muscles that tend to increase mass and volume over the course of the sport as it may lead to sontriction of blood viens.

Elastic adhesive bandage is an elastic material type tape that is adhesive and will stick to skin. Used before, during or after activities, they can help relieve muscle pain, promote the healing process and prevent injuries. It not just increases the rate of blood flow to both muscles as well as joints,but also does soothe highly overworked muscles and also helps in strengthening both weak and fatigued muscles.

Cohesive bandage is an elastic bandage which will stick to itself but not the skin. It does not have any sticky or adhesive layer to make it stick to the skin. They come in a variety of colors and are very easy to tear with fingers. These bandages are used for many purposes such as wrapping of joints and for compression purposes to treat injured joints and muscles.

To restrict joint movement, use a rigid strapping tape. To compress and support joints or muscles, use an elastic adhesive bandage.
End-To-End taping technique is the most common type of technique if you want to make your application last. Another common technique is the centre taping technique where the tape is applied over the point of pain or joint.

The use of sport tapes should always be done under medical supervision. You can buy sport tapes online along with an instruction guide for application but it is always better to ask a physical therapist for recommendations.