Rigid Strapping Sports Tape
For taping sports injuries
Below are the ranges / brands of strapping tape stocked by Sportstek.
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Why use Sports Tape?
In most cases, rigid sports tape is used post-injury during sporting activities. When applied in the correct manner, the tape provides support to muscle and ligament injuries, allowing athletes to return to their favorite sports with more confidence. The value of sports tape is that you can restrict, for example, movement of a body part in a particular direction. In the case of ankle strapping you may want to restrict the inward-outward movement (inversion) where the ankle is weak, but maintain some flexibility in dorsi flexion (up down). Sports Tape is also said to provide you with a proprioceptive 'reminder' that a particular body part is weaker due to injury, thus may be more susceptible to re-injury.
Sports Tape is almost always applied using an overlapping technique, where you first set 'anchors' and then bind over the top of the first layer enough to suit the level of support required. Generally speaking, a professional practitioner such as a physiotherapist is the best person to consult regarding the correct taping techniques (incorrect use of tape may not provide any support which is not only a waste of money but may give a false sense of security that an injury has some protection).
Features to look out for
All rigid strapping tapes are designed to do the same thing, but there are some different features that may be important to which tape you choose.
1. Conformity - the body does not have flat surfaces. Conformity refers to how malleable the tape is; thus how easily it falls over asymmetric and lumpy areas of the body like the ankle. A more conforming tapes feel a bit thinner between the fingers, but they are sometimes a little bit more difficult to apply over larger areas.
2. Hand tearable - Most rigid tapes are now made with a 'pinked' or 'serrated' edge on both sides which allows you to easily tear off the tape from the roll (or if the cut length is too long when applying). However, some tapes that are made with extra strong adhesive (such as Leuko P) do not have a pinked edge and scissors are required for application. The pinked edge also helps stop 'threading' or mis-tearing the tape.
3. Width - Bar far the most popular width is 38mm (1.5") which is mostly used for shoulder, ankle, and knee taping. Some practitioners do prefer the wider 50mm for similar areas. A 25mm tape is often used for smaller areas like the arm and hand, whilst 13mm is common for finger and toe taping.
4. Adhesive - how well the tape adheres is generally an important factor when deciding which tape to purchase. They can vary across different brands, though it cannot be said that a less expensive tape necessarily means lower adhesion. Almost all rigid tapes use a zinc based adhesive. In a small portion of the population, or with heavy use, some skin irritation can occur. In such cases it is recommended to immediately cease using the tape and consult a practitioner for alternative methods of injury prevention. There are hypoallergenic sports tapes available that do not use zinc, such as Sportstek Hypoallergenic. These tapes are usually more expensive. -
5. Colour - rigid tapes are generally only available in flesh or white colours. Flesh is bar far the most popular colour for use in sport such as Football and Soccer because it does not interfere with uniforms colours and does not draw attention to injured areas. Also it is more often stocked by tape suppliers.
4. Quantity - Sports Clubs generally buy in bulk to save on costs. A box quantity is usually 30 rolls for 38mm tape, though Sportstek sells individual rolls should you not require that many.
Other products used with Rigid Sports Tape
- Hypoallergenic Adhesive Fabric - This is often used underneath sports tape to provide a base to which the tape can better adhere as well as prevent skin damage from the tapes adhesive. Most used with chronic injuries.
- Protective Barrier creams & films - These are used to help the tape adhere to the skin and help protect it from the adhesive.
- Tape removers - used to help remove the sports tape without having to tear it away from the skin. Also used as residue removers. Tape removers can sometimes contain alcohol to help dissipate the adhesive, whilst others contain skin replenishing ingredients such as moisturisers.
- Bandage Scissors - bandage scissors are not straight like normal scissors; they usually have a cutting mechanism that is angled at about 20 degrees towards the thumb / handle. With a small nodule at the end of the base cutter, this helps to get underneath the tape or bandage.