Strapping and taping is used mainly in sporting scenarios and generally used for injuries and, in this case, applied alongside Sports Massage. However, it can also help with posture and support which is useful in a massage studio like ours! In this blog, I’ll discuss the problems it can be used for as well as how it can help support good posture. So read on if you want to find out more!
What is Strapping and Taping?
This is where adhesive bandages or tape (depending on the area) are used to secure or stabilise an injured or painful joint. You will often see people involved in sports wearing some sort of tape when they have an injury such as an ankle sprain or knee injury. The tape will prevent the joint from moving into the position that causes pain without restricting the joint from moving in other directions. This way mobility isn’t impaired but pain will be prevented so the person can continue with their activity if needed. It is also useful for back injuries, such as a lumbar disc bulge or other injury where bending forward causes pain, the tape can be applied to the lower back and will help prevent forward bending and reduce aggravation of the injury. However, it isn’t only applied to injured areas! It can also be applied to the back in general to maintain good posture! This is generally done after a treatment such as massage. The tape will usually only remain on for a day but can stay on for 48 hours unless the tape causes an increase in pain or you have any adverse reactions like redness, itching or numbness. If you feel your symptoms have got worse since the tape was applied or you’re getting a reaction to the tape itself then the tape should be removed immediately. Strapping and taping isn’t supposed to be a permanent solution to an injury, it is simply used to aid in the initial recovery process.
Benefits of Strapping and Taping
As mentioned above, strapping a joint doesn’t necessarily mean completely restricted movement. It just prevents you from aggravating an injury and by doing so decreasing pain. This can mean a faster healing time as the muscles are offloaded and allows the area to rest. Consequently, this can mean a faster return to activity or sport following injury. It can help reduce pain during sports or activities as well as when sitting or standing for long periods of time with a back injury. It is sometimes used to prevent injuries occurring during activities that are likely to cause an injury or pain. This is where postural taping after a treatment can help you especially if you are returning to a desk or going to be standing for long periods of time after your massage. Taping the back will help you maintain good posture and stop you from slouching or letting the shoulders roll forwards at your desk without the muscles feeling fatigued or strained. The tape does all the work your muscles normally would do, so, you can remain relaxed and feel supported. This means you don’t immediately undo all the good effects that the massage had!
When you should avoid Strapping and Taping
- If you have had adverse reactions to tape before you may want to avoid using it or consider a patch test before having tape applied properly.
- There are some injuries where it is not appropriate to apply tape such as with fractures, open wounds or skin irritations
- If you have circulation or sensory issues.
As mentioned before if strapping and taping an area causes an increase in pain, an ache, numbness, tingling, pins and needles, skin irritation (excessive redness, itchiness, rash), the area changes colour or swelling occurs then the tape should be removed immediately.
Is there anything I should do before coming for Strapping and Taping?
Make sure you inform your therapist that would like to have an area taped as they may need to assess the joint before doing so and will need to allow time to apply the tape. It is advisable to shave the area that you want to be taped (12 hours before your session) as this will result in less skin irritation once the tape is applied as well as less painful removal of the tape! If you have any questions feel free to give us a call and ask for Annie on 02380 639747
Strapping and taping is a great way to support a joint or area after injury or for injury prevention during activities! It is also fantastic support after a massage treatment to prevent you returning to poor posture straight away and allows you to feel how the body should be sitting/standing when you have a good posture. Although it is not a solution to a problem it can decrease pain, reduce healing time and allow you to continue with sport or activity if needed.