Most of us have seen this type of tape while watching track and field or beach volleyball events.
Athletic tape isn't just used by athletes. Therapists can use it too to help clients achieve better positioning to help alleviate pain.
Most of us have seen this type of tape while watching track and field or beach volleyball events. World-class athletes have been using it in competition for some years now. However, more and more non-athlete clients are experiencing the various forms of athletic tape known to assist in the retraining of their muscles to more functional and pain free patterns of movement and posture.
The major difference between this type of tape and traditional athletic tape is that it possesses an elasticity that more closely resembles that of healthy soft tissues. This means that while still serving its role as "reminder" that you are falling back into the posture for which your therapist has scolded you, it's doing so in a more gentle way.
How does it work? The tape is designed with the idea of "proprioception" in mind. Proprioception is the medical term relating to our body's awareness of the positions of our joints in space. It's very closely linked with your inner ear and your sense of balance.
We're made up of many layers of tissue from the skin, right down through the muscles to the bones. Between each layer of tissue in the body there is connective tissue that ultimately connects the various layers so that when stretched or compressed, they affect one another. The tape discussed in this article functions based on this concept.
Once your assessment is complete and the application of the tape is deemed appropriate, it's applied in such a way that you feel a subtle pulling whenever you're outside of a healthy neutral posture.
Now, I know what you might be thinking and the answer is "No." This will not get you off of the hook for doing your exercises at home. However, it will help to fill in the time gaps between doing your exercises, making your efforts all the more effective!
Ryan Young, BHSc, RMT, SMT(cc) practices at KD Physical Therapies Inc. - Medicine in Motion in Burnside. He maintains an Inactive Certificate with the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario to stay up-to-date with current events and is a member in good standing with the Massage Therapists Association of Nova Scotia. If you have any specific questions about this type of treatment or would like more information on this type of assistive taping, Ryan can be reached at KD Physical Therapies Inc. - Medicine in Motion, 468-2774, Ext. 2, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.