What is it?
Strapping, or taping, is one of the many tools that physical therapists have at their disposal in helping you recover from injury and return to your normal everyday life. The therapists will apply tape directly to the skin in various locations for various outcomes. The location and purpose of strapping varies from patient to patient depending on his or her diagnosis. A few of the many purposes of strapping can be to provide stability to a joint complex, help with postural correction, relieve pain, decrease swelling, activate a muscle or inhibit an overactive muscle. Tape can be used for conditions such as bursitis, joint instability, muscle spasm, muscle weakness, tendonitis and general pain/swelling.
How Does It Work?
There are two main types of straps/tapes:
This tape allows for the body to stretch, and can be worn for several days requiring little maintenance by you. It is both latex-free and hypoallergenic. Kinesio-tape alleviates swelling, forms convolutions in the skin thus increasing interstitial space and allowing for a decrease in fluid in and out of the target area.
More of a rigid type of tape that can be used to provide stability. Leukotape is applied first with a cover-roll over the skin to protect it and help with adhesion. Leukotape, like kinesiotape, is hypoallergenic and latex free. Leukotape sports tape is primarily used for such as muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments, which make it ideal for neuromuscular reeducation. Without this re-education, soft tissue will become accustomed to the limited range of motion that resulted from an injury.
What Can You Use It For?
Both types of tape can be applied to remedy ailments in the neck, back, shoulders, knees, hips, wrists, and ankles making for a very versatile treatment option. Strapping is a very safe treatment option with no serious adverse effects. Both are hypoallergenic meaning that those with easily irritated skin need not worry.
Why Should You Use It?
It is your therapist’s goal to give you the tools you need to participate in all work, household, and recreational activities without pain. Strapping, in addition to the many other tools at our disposal, can help you live the life you want to live.