Clay Sniteman, KT Tape Medical Advisory Board Member, co-authored this article for ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine titled Sticking Points, with step-by-step tips and techniques for physical therapists working with common sports injuries. Enjoy the excerpt below, but to read the entire article, click here. Athletic Taping To tape or not to tape? That is the question. Actually, it's only part of the question-once the decision is made to tape an injury, how and what kind of tape becomes a major issue. Because of the myriad tapes on the market, confusion reigns. While many types of tape have done a good job in the past, there are new forms of elastic tape on the market that can be stretched 40 percent beyond its original length, which allows the tape to move with the skin and not be restrictive. New models also feature heat-sensitive adhesive, so you can apply it to the skin by simply rubbing the tape. Some brands can be worn in water and used for extended periods of time. When applied correctly, it can work very well over a weekend. On the technical side, newer forms of kinesiotape not only provide proprioception, but also assist in decreasing pain, removing ecchymosis, helping edema reduction and assisting in biomechanical alignment for shoulders, feet and knees. This tape can be applied every day on world-class athletes, the elderly and even children. But as with everything, with athletic kinesiotaping there's a right and wrong way to apply it. The key is that depending on the patient, there are many shapes and patterns that can be made. The most common pattern is the "I" or the "X" (by cutting down the middle of tape on both ends). These patterns are best for inhibition, facilitation or painful areas. The other two most common shapes are the "V" and the "Fan," which are used for swelling, inflammation and edema... For clinical details on taping applications for physical therapists, click here. Read below for more tips on taping techniques from "Sticking Points": ....When dealing with professional athletes, the pragmatic "go-slow" concept is thrown out the window, as players often have to get back on the court or field in minimum time. They simply will not wait until an injury is healed, given the "play or don't get paid" reality-whether it be for a major event such as Wimbledon, or a relatively minor tournament. Consequently, circumstances often drive the aggressiveness of the treatment, and even how the tape is applied. When this happens, it can't be stressed enough that you must check and recheck the tape to ensure that it hasn't slipped, the tension has not increased due to swelling, or that the athlete has pulled at the tape. More than once, the "perfect" taping job has to be done over or modified. Taping is beneficial in aiding proper osteokinematics and arthrokinematics of the joints. Newer forms of tape can be used on all types of patients, whether world class athletes or the elderly. This newer elastic tape has overcome many of the limitations of the restrictive tape that has been with us for so long. Clay Sniteman is physical therapist and athletic trainer at Weber State University, Ogden, UT, a member of the KT Tape Medical Advisory Board, and a traveling physical therapist for the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Joel Bass is head athletic trainer and a faculty member at Weber State University. To read the entire article, click here.
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