The colourful 'stripes' are increasingly used in the field of sports. Is it only used in sports or is there more to it? Also from a medical point of view, tape is seen as an invention and a useful tool to achieve your treatment goals.
It was ten years ago that the first soccer player in Europe walked around with elastic tapes on his knee. After that, more and more sportsmen used the tape and the tape came to the attention. In the physiotherapy too, the tape did not remain unnoticed. The tape seemed to offer a good support to other interventions, applied in the treatment room.
But what is actually the capital gain of elastic tape?
Tape that is placed directly on the skin stimulates the sensors in the skin itself. These sensors excite the neurogenic system in the body. From practice it appears that these reactions are controllable by the use of different techniques. This way, we can influence the pain and we can handle and guide movements too. Also, you can see a direct mechanical effect. The tape, if well applied, can lift the skin, whereby the space underneath the skin will be “opened”. This is often applied by swelling and lymphedema. Thus there are several reactions to be provoked by the use of the tape, that can optimize the recovery process.
The three major pillars behind the usage of the tape are:
• Stimulating the “self-healing ability” of the patient/sportsman
• The tape ensures the fundamental principles of kinesiology
• The effect is largely dependent on the skill of the professional
Is taping an all-embracing intervention?
In the practice field, the tape is applied as an additional intervention to get the result faster. The patient/sportsman doesn’t heal faster, but the
tissue can regenerate better because some processes in the body are supported or activated. The tape can therefore reduce or resolve blockages, that slow down the recovery process.
We see that the tape, if properly applied, allows faster functional use of the tissue. Here is certainly the rule: anatomy determines function and vice versa. This is where we see the limitation: to increase muscle strength, you need to actively pile the muscles with and train them and this is something the tape doesn’t take over. The tape can, however, optimize the position / base values for this training.
In the practice field, the tape is used successfully by many professionals. The results are clear. Yet we must take care that we can substantiate the usefulness of this extra tool with studies and research. A large appeal is done on making the evidence based of our actions. This site hopes to make a contribution to this process.