Strapping tapes and braces can help in the prevention of joint injuries and is often utilised in the rehabilitation and management of injuries. Their application may assist joint stability, reduce pain and improve function of the muscular and skeletal system.
Rigid tape is often used to help athletes recover from ligament and joint sprains or to help prevent further injury by limiting unwanted movement at a joint. Rigid tape can also be utilised to offloading specific anatomical structures where an injury or weakness has been identified.
Dynamic Tape (such as KinesioTape and RockTape) is an elastic/stretchy tape that contains cotton fibers with polymer elastic strands woven throughout. As the tape is stretched and applied to the skin, it bunches the top layer of skin and lifts it away from the muscle, creating a small gap between skin and muscle.
Benefits of using this tape may include: -Improved blood flow and lymphatic drainage. -Assisting in the breakdown of lactic acid (a by-product of cellular metabolism) -Improved movement between different layers of muscle and fascia
Both Dynamic and Rigid offer improved proprioception (position sense, due to increase feed back from skin), and therefore can improve muscular support.
Braces are external supportive devices that help to stabilise or assist in controlling joint/muscle activity. Braces are designed to support (similar to sports tape) and helping to guide the body through certain positions. An advantages of using a brace is that it is easy to apply and take off when needed.
How do I know if I should use rigid/dynamic tape or a brace? The practitioners at Complete Care Osteopathy are trained in all forms of taping and can help advise you on which is right for you!
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