What is taping?
Functional movement taping (FMT), or kinesiology taping as it is also known, is a way of using stretchy, sticky tape to help the body in movement and when recovering from injuries. You may have seen athletes at the Olympics, footballers, rugby players and even some dancers on Strictly using taping – it’s often brightly-coloured so it stands out quite a bit!
It’s become particularly popular as it allows people to carry on running, training and competing when they’re carrying or recovering from injuries. It’s not just for athletes though. It can be really helpful in helping people recover from normal strains of the body as it gives support and can reduce pain.
We use RockTape here at Mid Sussex Osteopaths. It is the industry leader when it comes to kinesiology tape, and is made to the highest standards. Designed to move in the same way as your skin, it can stay applied for up to 7 days, and will endure pretty much any sport or activity – even swimming! We love it as it compliments our other treatments by allowing continuous treatment of the area even when you aren’t in our clinic!
How does it help?
Taping helps people in four main ways
- It can reduce pain and other symptoms of an injury,
- It controls swelling
- It helps to support joints including the back and can influence posture
- It helps aid movement along chains of muscle.
How does it work?
There are several mechanisms. Primarily, it helps by lifting the layers of skin and muscle, reducing compression in the area allowing inflammation to reduce and freeing up movement. It is also thought to work through the nervous system and promote proper functioning of muscles.
But in real life, how can it help?
It helps you recover from injury
Let’s take an example and a common presentation in clinic. Say you suffer from pain in your hamstrings after running. It eases off with rest, but comes back every time you run. To reduce symptoms, some tape along the length of the hamstring muscles gives those muscles some support; stops overstretching and therefore reduces or eliminates the level of pain after running.
But maybe the injury is slightly more serious. What about a torn muscle, or sprained ankle? While time and treatment are the best healers for both of these, taping can help as well. Through taping the area, swelling or bruising can be reduced, and healing encouraged.
It gives the body support
Sometimes injuries can leave you with slight weakness in the affected area. Lower backs are a common problem area, with lots of people finding that back pain can result in them feeling weak when sitting or walking. This is often caused by a loss of muscle strength from decreased or altered use. Taping can help restore normal movement as well as give support to areas that are a little too mobile.
This isn’t an exhaustive list of uses for taping – it can be applied to virtually any area of the body, at any age, for any sport, past-time or activity. Whether you are competing in high levelsport, recovering from a fall, or just feel a bit restricted in your movement, why not book in to see our qualified RockTape Rock Doc, Adam Wilson or one of our Sports Massage team who can guide you on how to get the best from taping?
What sort of appointment do I need?
Ideally, taping is used as part of a treatment so whether you are seeing Adam Wilson for Osteopathy or getting Sports Massage with Leigh Smith or George Stone, they will often use tape as part of the treatment.
If you have used taping in the past and only want that and no other treatment, then we have 20 minute taping sessions to accommodate that. Three of our team use taping: Adam Wilson, Leigh Smith and George Stone. Make sure you book with one of those, if taping is what you’re after.