Hi, I am Candice, a physical therapy technician at Strelcheck Chiropractic Clinic.
Today we are going to talk about physiotaping. Let’s start with what is physiotherapy?
It originated in Japan during the 1970s when doctors were looking for a sports taping method that would assist in the healing of tissues and muscles but not reduce the range of motion at a joint.
Once medical professionals began seeing the numerous beneficial effects, it quickly moved into the United States and many other countries. Nowadays you see athletes wearing brightly colored physio-tape at most sporting events.
Physiotape is believed to work by reducing pain, improving function and reducing swelling. So let’s break that down.
Physio-tape may work to reduce pain by stimulating nerve receptors in and under the skin. Signals from the receptors that detect movement and touch reach the brain faster than pain signals therefore the pain signals interrupted and the pain is decreased. This is the same concept as when you accidentally bump your head and quickly rub it to decrease the pain.
Physiotape may also work to improve the function at a joint. When tape is applied with considerable stretch it changes the position of bony structure. This allows a joint to move freely and with correct alignment. Applied physiotape may also help to reduce swelling in an area. It is believed that the tape helps to activate the autonomic nervous system which regulates blood circulation and in turn decreases inflammation.
Now let me demonstrate how physiotape is applied.
So the first step is to wipe the area down with alcohol swab. Then we are going to begin by adding our first trip of physiotape. Now if the taped area ever becomes red, itchy or irritated, remove the tape right away. Also if the tape ever increases your pain or discomfort remove it. It is only to bathe, shower or swim with the physiotape on. However the adhesiveness of the tape becomes reduced when it is wet therefore patting the area dry rather than rubbing it is always the best option.
Now the physio-tape should stay on your skin for approximately one week however, if it begins to roll, attempts to replace it. If it continues to roll, snip it off at the base of the role. If you find that you’re having trouble with your physio-tape staying, shave the area prior to your next taping session.
Now we are going to add our last strip here. The easiest way to remove physiotape is in a warm shower with a little bit of soap and water. Remember to pull with the direction of the hair growth for easiest removal.
Our last step here is just to smooth down all our edges and make sure we have a nice tight seal. As you have learned, physiotape can be used to decrease a variety of symptoms associated with the muscular and skeletal systems.
For additional information, please ask your doctor as it is always recommended to confirm with a healthcare professional prior to attempting use.