And other questions answered about Therapeutic Taping. (Part 2 of 2)
By Dr. Michael Cerami
In the last blog article I gave you an overview of therapeutic taping and what it can do for you to increase performance and reduce injuries. If you watched the Olympics, you saw how many athletes were “taped up” in almost all of the sports. Even the female platform divers from China had therapeutic tape on their lower back to facilitate the muscle contraction during their event. Pretty stunning considering you wouldn’t assume divers needed taping.
One of the neatest things I think about taping is that it’s a very affordable way to treat your injury or try to improve your performance (increase endurance) that doesn’t really have any downside. The tape retails for about $20.00 per roll which gives you at least 10 applications so you can try a few methods. The manufacturers websites are very helpful and athlete friendly. The only caveat I would have to add is that if you don’t get improvement with the tape, don’t completely write off its effectiveness. Being taped by a professional may solve the problem as it assess the treatment from a more complete and functional standpoint with a higher degree of accuracy. We’ve had great success at Utah Sports and Wellness taping immediately after an injury to reposition the tissue and restrict joint motion in certain planes. This information may be unavailable to the average consumer.
We’ve received a number of questions about taping that I’ll try and answer here:
How long should I keep the tape on?
• Always apply the tape to clean dry skin. Even though the tape may stay on the skin longer, it will lose its effective after a maximum of 5 days.
Can I get the tape wet?
• Absolutely. If it’s applied correctly, it can be used for any event and activity even under wetsuits.
I’m having a hard time keeping it stuck on my skin, the ends keep peeling up; what should I do?
• Getting the tape on right takes a little skill at first, but is quite easy once you figure it out. Always round the edges of the tape once you cut it. Tear the tape in the middle to remove the backing. Stretch only from the middle of the tape and never the ends or last 1 1⁄2” of the tape. Each end need to be “non‐stretched”. Vigorously rub all of the tape at least 20 times to heat up and activate the glue on the tape. These methods will ensure a longer lasting application.
How do I tape my knee or ankle? The tape seems to get loose right after I apply it.
• When taping your knee or ankle, remember to straighten your knee when applying the tape so when you bend it, the tape actually tightens. When taping the foot (in general) bring your toes toward your nose while taping so the tape stays tight when the foot returns to a neutral position.
Note: I will be doing a taping seminar at Salt Lake Running Tuesday October 2nd at 7pm. Please contact the store for details.
Dr. Michael Cerami is an avid runner, cyclist and triathlete. He is available for a no charge consultation one Saturday per month at The Salt Lake Running Company (700 East store) by appointment. He can be reached at 801-486-1818 or online at www.utahsportsandwellness.com