Everything you need to know about Taping
Taping is a word you have probably heard many times, but do you know how it works and when the procedure can help? In this article, together with the physiotherapists of Aesthetica clinic, we have compiled the most important information and the most frequently asked questions about this trending method. Read it and learn something new!
The questions are answered by:
Physiotherapists Māris Rodke and Zita Kriškāne
- What does taping mean?
- Kinesiological taping is a therapeutic method that can affect various body systems or structures
Kinesiological tape, unlike ordinary (traditional) tape, consists of cotton and elastic fibres, providing the tape with elastic properties
Tape is a patchy material that resembles body skin in terms of weight and elasticity
- How can the taping procedure help and who should use it?
- The tape is applied to the skin during therapy. The main influence is made by the stretch direction of the tape, stretch strength and position of the body part at the time of application.
The tape can mainly be used to:
- relieve pain (primarily muscle, joint, headache)
- mobilise/ stabilise joints
- reduce swelling (improve lymphatic system function)
- correct posture
- affect muscle tone
- reduce haematoma
- correct fascia
- mobilise scar tissue
- How can I know that this procedure is of help for me?
- To understand that taping will be the right solution for you, you can follow the indications stated above. As each case is different, it is always better to consult your therapist about the need for a particular method.
- What are the contraindications or in which cases should the taping procedure not be used?
The most popular contraindications for taping are:
- Acute thrombosis
- Cardiac oedema
- Kidney failure
- Open/purulent wounds, superficial skin lesions
- Fresh, immature fractures
It is also important to mention the relative contraindications or factors when the use of tape should be assessed individually:
- Malignant tumours
- Allergic dermatitis
- Diabetes mellitus
- What are the pros of taping?
- Taping does not require large investments; it is a fast and easy-to-use method that does not restrict any daily activities (except sunbathing); you do not need any additional time for use.
- Can tape be used by pregnant women?
- During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes various wonderful changes, which, unfortunately, can be accompanied by discomfort or pain in the lower back, swelling of legs and other types of disorders caused by the rapid weight gain. Tape may be used during pregnancy, but with due care and with some modifications. Especially during the last trimester, pregnant women note the relief after taping, as other conservative treatment methods are strictly limited during this period. On the other hand, during the postpartum period, taping can be a helpful tool for regaining abdominal muscle function.
- Is it possible to apply the tape incorrectly?
- The effect of the tape depends directly on the direction of application (gluing), therefore it is theoretically possible to do it incorrectly. Therefore, it is important for the procedure to be performed by a professional.
- What tape is used by physiotherapists?
Kinesiological tape is a high-quality cotton tape with a wavy acrylic coating. The tape materials are skin-friendly, water-resistant, sweat-permeable and breathable.
Cross Tape patches are applied directly over points of pain, muscular trigger points and acupuncture points. Such tape is also used to reduce bruising. The electrostatic attraction principle is used to apply the cross tape — the tape itself finds the most suitable place where it should be applied. Cross Tape consists of polyester/polyurethane/acrylic. It falls off over time.
- How long can the tape remain on the body?
- The tape can be left on the body for up to two weeks, provided there is no skin irritation under the tape and if you do not go to a pool with highly chlorinated water. If you feel discomfort while wearing the tape, it should be taken off. It is recommended for people with different types of allergies to keep the tape for 2 days; it should be taken off with the appearance of the first signs of itching.
“I always warn people with intensive hair-covering (mostly men) that applying tape is cool, but removing tape will cause unpleasant feelings,” — says Zita, a physiotherapist from Aesthetica. Patients whom the tape helps during their daily functions often choose to shave the relevant part of the body.
- How long should the break be between taping procedures?
- If it is necessary to re-apply the tape, there should be a break of at least three days after the first tape has been removed so that the skin can rest. Or it is possible to use another tape technique that affects another skin area. As taping is an auxiliary method of conservative treatment, it may be of no help, especially for sensitive people who feel severe discomfort due to new skin irritation. If after applying the tape you don’t feel better by the evening of the day of application, then we recommend removing it.
- Can the tape be wetted?
- You can definitely take shower, but a gentle towel should be used for drying, without rubbing. You can also swim in the pool with tape if the water is not intensively chlorinated, as well as after visiting the pool, it should be checked whether the skin under the tape is irritated. Visits to the sauna after the taping procedure are not recommended, especially if the temperature of the sauna is high.
- How to clean the adhesive material left after removal of the tape from the skin?
- When the tape is removed, it is normal for the adhesive material to remain on the skin — it can be removed with the help of oil or special removers.
- Is the taping procedure painful?
- Discomfort can only be caused while removing the tape. It can also be painful for ladies to remove it, as the little hair follicle on the skin (hair) is irritated when the tape is removed. It is recommended to remove the tape after a shower or ask a physiotherapist to do it.
“Athletes often tape themselves because they have mastered the application technique perfectly over time. If you are not a professional, I would recommend only applying Cross Tape. It will be easier and less likely to make a mistake”, — warns physiotherapist Zita Kriškāne.
We would like to remind you that it is important for any health-related procedure to be performed by the appropriate professionals! Even a seemingly simple and non-invasive procedure performed incorrectly can have unpleasant consequences!