Strapping and Taping techniques can help prevent injury as well as protect the athlete
from re-injury whilst returning to sport. The role of the tape is to limit the movement
in a injured joint to prevent excess or abnormal movement. In addition, it should
provide support to the muscles surrounding the joint that may be under additional
strain due to the ligament injury.
Another benefit of taping is thought to be enhanced proprioception (or kinaesthetic
feedback) that the tape provides during movement (or in other words it is thought
to improve co-ordination). For example if a taped ankle starts to invert (turn over)
during a jump then the tape will restrict this and inform the body that it needs
to contract muscles to prevent this movement in the ankle. Without this feedback
the athlete may be unaware the ankle has started to invert and land on it badly injuring
Tape should only be used in conjunction with a proper rehabilitation programme including
stretching, mobility and strengthening exercises.
Tape can also be used to protect unstable joints where repeated or severe ligament
damage has resulted in stretching of the ligaments and joint laxity. For example,
athletes who repeatedly suffer ankle sprains due to laxity of the joint may benefit
from taping or wearing an ankle brace to support the joint because the ligaments
have been stretched too much to do their job properly.