It’s the age old question. You suffer an injury and want to avoid further damage but you don’t want to give up participating in your favourite sport. So what taping do you use? What is going to work best? And which will make sure you’re protected? Well do not fear any longer because I’m going to spill the beans on these mysterious products and clear any confusion you may have to ensure you’re confident when you purchase your taping and strapping needs. If you are in any doubt to what you should be using, this knowledge is essential to ensure that you do not cause further damage to an injury and to save you wasting money on unsuitable products. Of course this is only a guide, if you are unsure about any injury you have, you should always consult a professional or your doctor! Strapping and tape should ONLY be used by those who are trained to do so! Physiotherapists and Sports Medicine Professionals are trained to understand injuries and apply the correct strapping and taping to the relevant injury! So don’t think you can have a go at it without having the knowledge! Application of the wrong strapping or tape on a complicated injury could cause permanent damage as can applying tape in an incorrect manner. Right well now we’ve got that sorted let’s look at the different types….
This handy little stuff, usually referred to as Zinc Oxide tape is a non stretchy cotton or rayon tape which uses Zinc Oxide adhesive (go figure!). The beauty in this tape is that its inelastic nature helps to restrict movement in joints which may be causing pain by immobilising the joint in the direct of the pain. This tape is typically used in sprains, twists and turns or in hard tissue injuries. Its so good in fact that many people use it for mending equipment! Strong stuff eh? The Zinc Oxide tapes come in varying degrees of stickiness and strength and generally the more you pay the stronger the tape is.
Now elastic tape is very different. These bad boys are designed to offer varying degrees of compression and support for things like pulls, strains and soft tissue injuries. However there are many different types of this tape so make sure you get the right one!
Athletic Tear Tape
This is the most versatile of the elastic tapes and has proved extremely popular with you sporty people. With its very stretchy nature, they are useful for minor support, securing lateral knee braces, as a compression wrap, securing dressings and even holding up ice packs.
No, not some variety of delicious pancake, but this tape, made from cotton or cotton mix and although isn’t a great one to use while participating in sport, it does make a good compression bandage when resting. These bandages can offer minor support and are also good to strap onto an icepack.
This magical stuff only sticks to itself and not itself and is non slip making it ideal for compression and support that is easy to unwind, making it ideal for controlled application. This is a very popular tape as it is very simple to use.
Elastic Adhesive Bandage (EAB)
Now this one’s a bit trickier than the others and requires the most training to be applied effectively. This type of bandage has a very strong adhesive and is therefore used when strong support and compression is needed.
These are typically used to hold dressings in place such as a non adherent dressing over a deep cut or graze, canulas, breathing tubes, gauzed and many other applications. Types of surgical tape include Microporous, Plastic and Silk tape.
So there you go champs! Go forth and buy your taping and strapping .