As the summer comes to a close that can mean only one thing. Treatment tables begin to fill up at clubs around the country as the Rugby and Football seasons get underway.
There has been an increasing trend, or fashion, over the last few years for players to turn to all kinds of elaborate and colourful taping techniques. Whether this is to help performance or just to get through that one last season (we know it won’t be the last) there are many different applications for taping and it seems like an ideal time to discuss them.
There are several different types of taping but essentially the argument boils down to Restrictive vs Facilitative.
Restrictive taping has probably been around a little longer and uses tapes that offer no stretch and therefore restricts the movement of the joint in which you are taping. I have memories growing up of seeing the older generation at my rugby club wrap themselves in rolls and rolls of white tape before playing every Saturday. Was this of Psychological or physiological benefit, who knows. How can this be any good, aren’t joints supposed to move? You may ask. Well essentially yes but this type of taping does have certain applications for players with overly mobile joints for example in cases of previous ligament damage.
There are now many clever brands with lots of scientists in white coats developing a newer style of taping.
This Facilitative tape offers an increase in stretch and therefore by applying it across joints and muscles it mimics human skin and fascia whilst providing support without the need to lock the area off completely.
By adding no stretch to the tape but lots of stretch to the tissue underneath it can create a lift of the tissue and allow for greater fluid flow and recovery underneath. It also allows a greater movement of the restricted tissue underneath which leads to better mechanics. This style of taping is even said to support proprioception or our body’s awareness of itself in space by stimulating nerve endings under the skin. By adding stretch to the tape it may provide greater support and therefore aid sports performance.
The above styles of taping may have different applications in the Chiropractic arena. Your Chiropractor may therefore use taping to aid recovery, provide support or help with postural positioning as part of your course of care.
Just don’t forget to ask for the prettiest colour 🙂