While watching the Australian Open Tennis this year, I decided that it was time to find out what the fancy colourful tape called Rock Tape that all the players were wearing, was all about. Is it a fad? Is it any different to the “old school” beige taping that I already do? What is it used for?
So I booked onto a course in May to learn and find these things out. It was a very “hands on” course, where just about every part of my body that could be taped…. was! As I walked around a supermarket doing my shopping after the course, with bits of colourful tape poking out from my clothing, I know that I got a few inquisitive looks…. I expect they were wondering if I was a professional tennis player!
So here is what I gauged from my course:
1. Is it a Fad?
Fads usually pass quickly…. This tape has been being used in professional sport for over a decade. And now that I’ve done the course I believe that the colourful taping is for therapeutic reasons rather than aesthetic.
2. Is it any different to beige standard rigid tape?
Yes, very different, the technique to apply it is different and the situations where you would use these two different tapes differ considerably. Whilst ridged beige tape might be used to help immobilize a sprained ankle, this colourful tape has much more “give” and flexibility inherent in the structure. One of the key times that I foresee myself using colourful tape in my practice would be to apply it over a recently injured muscle to give my patient a boost and help combat fatigue when they return to sport.
3. What is it used for?
Lots of things like:
– Colourful tape improves vascularisation below – so it can help when applied over areas of bruising, lymph oedema or swelling.
– Colourful tape can provide extra proprioception and support to joints.
– Colourful tape can improve conscious awareness of an injury.
– Colourful tape can be used to “unload” tendinopathies.
– Colourful tape can reduce fatigue in a muscle.
– Colourful tape can improve posture.
– Colourful tape can alter timing of muscle activity.
– Colourful tape “connect” muscles to enhance performance.
If you would like to talk to Lara about how Colourful tape might be used to help you call 8555 4099.
Written by InnerStrength of Bayside Physiotherapist Lara Syme (nee Hurst).