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Athletic taping or sports taping involves applying tape to the affected area to maintain stability of the joints and muscles during athletic activity. It is commonly used to reduce pain, aid in recovery and prevent injuries.
Types of Athletic Taping
There are many types of athletic tape, and not all work in the same way. Here are the three common types:
Rigid Tape - commonly used in recovery, rigid tape helps reduce excessive motion in the joints and improves stability.
Elastic Tape - helps improve blood circulation by allowing moisture and heat to pass through, which also keeps the skin cool and dry.
Kinesio Tape - commonly used in sports, kinesis tape can be used before, during and after activity, and helps treat and prevent injuries.
Common Uses of Athletic Tape
Athletic tape can be used as an external support for joints to help limit excessive range of motion which can allow athletes to return to the field quicker with a reduced risk of injury. It also helps to facilitate the healing process around the injured area.
The use of sports taping helps in maintaining various functions of the foot. In the book Conservative Management of Sports Injuries, it has been demonstrated that ankle taping reduces impact on the ankle and promotes neuromuscular response of the body.
In terms of pain management, the authors note that taping helps reduce stress on the damaged tissues during weight loading which provides relief from pain and irritation.
Certain athletic taping techniques can help provide pain relief associated with conditions like plantar fasciitis. A study in the Journal of Physical Therapy Science highlighted that athletic taping can significantly improve stability in the foot by supporting the body with a balanced centre of gravity.
As Part of Active Rehab
While used primarily in sports, athletic taping can also be beneficial as part of an active rehab programme that could consist of stretching exercises as prescribed by a health care specialist.
For instance, in case of plantar fasciitis caused by a flatfoot posture, athletic taping can be used along with foot insoles such as MASS4D® to improve outcomes. MASS4D® insoles can be useful in the treatment of and recovery from a number of foot problems and injuries.
MASS4D® insoles support the feet in their optimal posture to allow healthy foot movement and function. By promoting normal foot function and healthy posture alignment, MASS4D® aims to improve athletic performance and reduce risk of injury.
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Reference: Tim Dutra (2015) Essential Insights On Athletic Taping For Common Sports Injuries. Podiatry Today: June 2015, Vol. 28, No. 6
Reference: Chan Park, Sangyong Lee, Dong-young Lim, Char-Woo Yi, Jang Hwan Kim, Chunbae Jeon (2015) Effects of the application of Low-Dye taping on the pain and stability of patients with plantar fasciitis. Journal of Physical Therapy Science: August 2015, Vol. 27, No. 8, pp. 2491-2493
Reference: Meier K., McPoil T.G., Cornwall M.W., Lyle T. (2008) Use of antipronation taping to determine foot orthoses prescription: a case series. Research in Sports Medicine: 2008, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 257-271. doi: 10.1080/15438620802310842
Reference: Thomas E. Hyde, Marianne S. Gengenbach (2005) Conservative Management of Sports Injuries. Jones and Bartlett Publishers.
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