Therapeutic taping is the use of rigid or elastic sports tape, applied to muscles or joints, to provide support and reinforcement with the aim of decreasing pain, improving function, and helping rehabilitation over time.
Sports tape is commonly used by sportspeople in contact codes where there is a risk of dislocation of joints. Sports tapes provide extra support to joints, while still allowing functional range of movement. Sports tapes are also used to stabilise joints in safe positions, or to minimise joint movement into painful ranges. Tapes have many versatile uses, and are widely applied within Physiotherapy and other health fields.
Taping may be suggested if you have recently had a muscular or joint injury. It's important to let your therapist know if you have any skin conditions or sensitivity that may affect your response to the taping. Elastic and adhesive tape cannot be applied over open wounds or un-healed surgical sutures, so if your dislocation or pain is occurring within the context of a recent surger, taping may not be an appropriate option.
There are many different kinds of tape available - you may have used Rock Tape, Kinesio Tape, Physio Tape or another one. Despite the different names and marketing, they all do the same thing - offer an adhesive scaffold that provides additional support to you while you go through your exercises, and your daily life.
Not every patient will be immediately appropriate for taping. The treatments you receive will be tailored to you and your desired clinical outcome, as well as closely monitored for effectiveness. Feel free to discuss your management plan with your clinician, either in or out of the clinic.