Cresswell Physical Therapy May Newsletter
Taping, Bracing and Splinting for the Athlete
Throughout the years bracing, taping and splinting for the athlete have been an integral part of sport and an active lifestyle. The idea of prophylactic (pre-injury) wrapping was introducing more than 60 years ago in to attempt to decrease the number of injuries while playing. Bracing and taping are also used after an injury to allow earlier return to sport, reduce the likelihood of re-injury and prevent recurrence of an injury.
There are many different ways to support a joint either before or after injury. You may choose to tape, brace or splint. Taping and bracing are very similar in supporting the joint and there is much debate in the sports medicine community as to which is “better”.
Bracing comes in two forms: semi-rigid and non-rigid. Non-rigid braces are usually made of canvas, cloth or neoprene with the goal being compression around the joint with little added stability. Semi-rigid bracing tend to use the same construction as a non-rigid brace but with plastic struts or air cushions. This type of brace provides more stability is often chosen during rehab and return to play phases of injury.
There are many different types of tape used for athletic taping. The two most common types of tape seen today are white athletic tape and Kinesiotape © (which you may have seen on many athletes at the US Open or even here in Redding during the Pro Tournament). White athletic tape is very rigid and is used for stabilization and compression of a joint. Kinesiotape © has more elastic properties, it does not restrict movement at the joint but rather applied over the muscle to reduce pain inflammation and support the muscle in movement. The use of pressure support garments have gained popularity. Research indicating that these garments may reduce lactic acid build up and, therefore, reduce post-activity muscle soreness. (Ask Cresswell for more information).
If you have any questions regarding bracing and taping please contact us at Cresswell Physical Therapy. Call 244-7686 and ask for our therapist Suzanne Cresswell. We are here to assist you with all your therapy needs.
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