Efficacy Of Athletic Tape – Does It ‘Stick’?

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Anyone who is or has been a sportsperson knows that before becoming good at whichever sport you have chosen to play, there is a lot of toil, hard-work, pain and even injury. This will be a part of the training and participation regime till you decide to quit or retire. Injuries while preparing can cause damage and will slow you down – and from my experience as an active sportsperson this is extremely frustrating and demoralising.  The most common injuries I remember facing were lower back pain, swollen ankles from being twisted, shoulder strain, muscle tears, bruises and cuts – these were few amongst many.  My coach always recommended three things – rest to aid healing, a positive outlook and athletic tape.  The first recommendation was always the hardest to obey! The most effective was the athletic tape that would remain looking good and provide relief from the painful injuries.  What was more impressive was that the adhesive held fast even in water while providing support to the weakened and injured soft tissues.

Since this tape is lightweight it does not feel like an encumbrance and does not restrict movement of other connected body parts.  It securely protects, from the outside, the hurt soft tissue and hastens recovery.  Once the injured tissue feels better, you can continue to wear it as support while continuing with the gruelling practice routine.  I won several trophies despite injuries – I had my coach and athletic tape to thank.  I am envious (stupidly so) that this tape is now available in every colour one could possibly think of.

On a more serious note, athletic tape works effectively to provide relief and support to the tired and or injured muscle and the joint tissues without hampering movement.  The harsh truth is sports injuries are extremely common and if not properly cared for and given time to heal, the chances of repeat injuries on the same spot are very likely and sometimes lead to permanent damage. Athletic tape is a measure to protect and aid in healing – it is not a treatment and must be used so.  If you have a chronic pain in an area, it is better to seek medical aid.  Athletic tape is designed to decrease the possibility of repeated injury but must be coupled with adequate rest for the affected area.

While choosing this tape, ensure that you don’t settle for the cheaper varieties as the material and adhesive is highly questionable and will not provide the support the injured area requires. It’s a matter of being safe rather than sorry!

Just like any support system, athletic tape reduces the strain and effort on the injured area helping it to heal quicker. The elastic quality of these tapes allows them to stretch and move along with the part of body they are supporting. Since the affected area is supported, it gets less tired and the body can focus on healing it rather than providing additional support.  Some athletic tapes are strapped on to higher prone areas like the ankles and wrist just as protection preventing common injuries like twisting and sprains.

Remember to seek professional help if you are unsure of the kind of tape to use. Also follow the instructions carefully since wrapping it too tight can hamper circulation which can make the body feel like it is being quashed.  Having used athletic tape, I can vouch for its calming and salutary qualities in addition to protecting the injured body part or just as a support during strenuous movements required during sports.

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Chandini Ann was a senior professional in large corporates for 15+ years. She gave up her job to take care of her ailing father. Being at home added a fresh perspective and she decided to put her communication and skills of expression to good use. She now writes - content for websites, articles, blogs, press release, bios, content for brochures, messages of various kinds. Her profile on Linkedin can be viewed on https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=293944307&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile
  • vikas

    You are right Sanghmitra

  • Sanghamitra

    Kinesio tape is a great relief from aches…true!!