Tape is commonly used by physiotherapists to:
- relieve your pain
- improve joint stability
- enhance athlete confidence
- reduce injury recurrence
- prevent injury
There are different kinds of tape that can be employed:
- Rigid strapping tape commonly used in taping or strapping is often referred to as "sports tape" or "athletic tape" and is most often a rigid style of strapping tape.
- Elastic strapping tape can also be used when less rigidity or support is required.
- Kinesiology tape is an improved version of elastic sports tape that acts to dynamically assist your muscle function.
Aims of Taping
Tape may be used to:
- stabilise or support an injury
- relieve pain by de-loading vulnerable or painful structures
- facilitate normal movement, muscle action or postural patterns.
Types of Taping
Kinesiology taping (KT) is a therapeutic tool and has become increasingly popular within the sporting arena. Taping has been used for a long time for the prevention and treatment of sporting injuries. KT is not only used for sporting injuries but for a variety of other conditions. It was developed by Japanaese Chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase in the 1970's with the intention to alleviate pain  and improve the healing in soft tissues. There are many proposed benefits to KT, including: proprioceptive facilitation; reduced muscle fatigue; muscle facilitation; reduced delayed-onset muscle soreness; pain inhibition; enhanced healing, such as reducing oedema, and improvement of lymphatic drainage and blood flow.
Mobilisation with Movement (MWM) developed by Brian Mulligan FNZSP (Hon) of New Zealand is recognised world wide in manual therapy approaches. His concept is the application of manually applied accessory joint glide with concomitant pain free active movement. During the development of MWMs Brian Mulligan discovered that treatment in some patients was enhanced when he utilised taping to compliment the directional forces provided after the MWM treatment bout. Taping is applied in directions that compliment the applied MWM passive force to a joint or soft tissue.
McConnell taping (also known as Patellar Taping) is often used to treat patients with anterior knee pain, more specifically with patients with Chondromalacia Patellae and Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome). The tape corrects the tracking of the patella within the patellar groove by medializing the patella. The technique also stretches lateral soft tissues and strengthens the vastus medialis obliques.
- Liu YH, Chen SM, Lin CH, Huang CI, Sun YN. Motion tracking on elbow tissue from ultrasonic image sequence for patients with alteral epicondylitis.Proceedings of the 29th Annual International Conference of the IEEE EMBS Cite Interbationale, Lyon, France, 2007.
- Kahanov L. Kinesio taping, Part 1: An overview of its use in athletes.Athletic Therapy Today 2007;12:17-18.
- Basset KT, Lingman SA, Ellis RF. The use and treatment efficacy kinaesthetic taping for musculoskeletal conditions: a systematic review. New Zealand Journal of Physiotherapy 2010;38(2):56-62.
- Derasari A. et al. McConnell taping shifts the patella inferiorly in patients with patellofemoral pain: a dynamic magnetic resonance imaging study. Journal of the American Physical Therapy association. 2010 March. 90(3): 411–419
- Naoko Aminaka and Phillip A Gribble; A Systematic Review of the Effects of Therapeutic Taping on Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome; Journal of Athletic Training; 2005 Oct–Dec; 40(4): 341–351