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Athletic Taping in Scottsdale


Athletic taping is the use of tape directly to the skin or over pre-wrap to keep bones and muscles in a stable posture during athletic exercise.  Athletic tape is attached to the skin to physically hold muscles or bones in place which helps with pain relief and healing.

There are a variety of structures in our bodies that are involved in movement including: joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and bones.

Injury to these structures can be very detrimental—especially for an athlete; as it can limit function or performance.

Sports taping is commonly used to aid in the recovery of injuries caused by overuse.

How Rocktape Works – Video 1

How Rocktape Works – Video 2

Why get treatment done?

Athletic taping’s main purpose is to limit the motion of an injured joint in order to add stability for a short period of time [1] . It compresses soft tissues to reduce swelling, supports anatomical structures implicated in the injury, serves as a splint or secures a splint, secures dressings or bandages, protects the wounded joint from further injury, and protects the injured part while it heals. [2]

Athletic tape is commonly used to:

  • Support an injured structure (joints, ligaments, muscles, tendons, bones) [3]
  • Limit harmful range of motion [4]
  • Enhance repair and recovery [5]
  • Allow pain-free functional movement [6]
  • Permit protected resumption of activities [3]
  • Decrease pain [6]

Benefits of sports tape include: [6]

  • Improving Circulation through pain-free movement
  • Controlling Swelling
  • Preventing the initial injury or the adjacent parts to get worse
  • Prevent atrophy from non-use
  • Allows for continuous physical conditioning and strength, which is commonly lost during periods of inactivity following an accident.
  • Allows the ability to react to be maintained, which is frequently lost due to pain or fear of reinjury.

Taping can be beneficial for a variety of conditions, including:

  • Ankle sprains [7]
  • Broken fingers
  • Broken toes
  • Turf toe
  • Sand toe
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Shoulder pain
  • Knee pain [8]
  • Low Back pain [9]
  • Reducing swelling [10]
  • Shin splints

Risks/Complications of treatment

Sports taping is generally safe. If side effects occur, they’re usually mild and related to the skin. They may include:

  • Itching and redness. Increased sensory feedback and alterations in blood flow to a region with skin irritations are frequently misdiagnosed by patients. Itching and minor discomfort, especially in the short term, are often signs that the tape is doing its job.
  • Blistering. The most serious of all the reactions since it causes a complete disruption of the skin, which can take several days to weeks to recover. It can also be excruciatingly uncomfortable.
  • Tearing. Can occur when the tape is removed and is located along the edges of where the tape was. Because of their thinner, more sensitive skin, it is more common among geriatric and pediatric groups.
  • Folliculitis. is a relatively basic skin irritant that causes redness and irritation around the hair follicles. This normally lasts a few days but it is often self-limiting.
  • Allergic Reaction. [11] An allergic reaction is easily identified. The tape’s outlines can be easily identified, the skin will appear red and inflamed beneath the tape and around the edges, with a uniform appearance.

Taping isn’t for everyone. Your doctor might caution against taping if you:

  • Open wounds. Applying tape to a wound might cause infection or skin damage.
  • Deep vein thrombosis. A blood clot could be dislodged by increasing fluid flow, which could be fatal.
  • Active cancer. Increasing a malignant growth’s blood supply could be harmful.
  • Lymph node removal. Swelling could be caused by an increase in fluid where a node is lacking.
  • Diabetes. You might not detect a reaction to the tape if you have limited sensitivity in some regions.
  • Allergy. If your skin is allergic to adhesives, you may experience a severe response.
  • Fragile skin. You should avoid putting tape on your skin if it is prone to tearing.

How you prepare

Before athletic tape is applied:

  • The skin in the area should be dry, clean, and free from lotions or oils
  • Any rashes or broken skin will need to be covered with a non-stick wound pad such as gauze.
  • For the best results, wet-shave the area at least 12 hours before or use an electric razor just prior to being taped.

Food and medications

  • You don’t need to restrict your diet or avoid particular activities before athletic taping.

Types of taping/What to expect

After an evaluation, tape may be applied to the area of concern. There are several types of tape that can be used for various purposes. Our physician uses the following:

  • Athletic tape frequently called “sports tape” is a rigid type of strapping tape that is commonly used on muscles or bones in order to support them and limit motion. This is particularly useful near joints, such as the ankles, wrists, and hands. Exercise and competitive sports can cause sprains, breaks, and other injuries, and this extra support can help prevent them.
  • Kinesiology tape (KT) is a rehabilitative technique that has grown in popularity in the sporting world. Taping has been used for the prevention and treatment of sports injuries for a long time. KT is used for a range of ailments in addition to sports injuries. It was created in the 1970s by Japanese chiropractor Dr. Kenzo Kase with the goal of reducing pain [12] and improving soft tissue recovery [13] . Proprioceptive facilitation; reduced muscular fatigue; muscle facilitation; reduced delayed-onset muscle soreness; pain inhibition; better healing, such as lowering oedema and improving lymphatic drainage and blood flow [14] are only a few of the potential benefits of kinesio tape.

Tape care/removing tape

Supportive tape like athletic tape should stay on for the duration of the activity before being removed [6]

Tips for athletic tape removal:

  • Remove the tape with a tape cutter like a shark if possible. Slide the scissors under the tape and cut over a soft area of the limb (not over the bone). Peel down over the top of the tape. Do not peel at right angles away from the limb.
  • Peel the tape gently and evenly rather than ripping it off.
  • A tape remover like de-hesive spray can be used to help tape removal.

If kinesio tape is left on for more than a few days, it may loosen on its own.

Tips for kinesio tape removal:

  • To loosen the strip, use some oil (such as baby oil or olive oil) or lotion on top of it.
  • Slowly remove it. Don’t rip it off. Pulling up on the tape is not a good idea.
  • Apply pressure on your skin to separate it from the tape after bringing up one end of the strip.
  • Instead of pulling the tape straight up away from you, pull it back against itself. Pull the tape back in the direction of the end tab while gently applying pressure your skin.
  • As you remove the tape, run your fingers along behind while applying pressure.
  • Reapplying tape on skin that is irritated or damaged is not a good idea. Talk to your physical therapist or doctor about it first.

Results/treatment success rates

Athletic taping has great research and evidence to support it. Kinesio tape is a newer type of tape and new research is always emerging.

According to studies [15] , kinesio tape can help people with shin splints enhance their function, lower discomfort and increased hop distance.

Recent research [16] , showed kinesiology tape can help increase muscular contractions in the vastus medialis, a portion of the quadriceps muscle that controls the position of your kneecap.

Research [17] shows Athletic taping causes proprioception which aides in stabilizing.

Another study [18] showed positive effects of how athletic taping restricts ranges of motion and supports the ankle.


  1. Singh, G. (2019). Athletic taping and its implications in sports. International Journal on Integrated Education, 2(4), 1–7.
  2. Birrer, R. B., & Poole, B. (2004). Taping of sports injuries: review of a basic skill: general principles, specifics for the ankle. The Journal of Musculoskeletal Medicine, 21(4), 197+.
  3. MacAuley, D. (2002). Reducing risk of injury due to exercise. BMJ, 325(7362), 451–452.
  4. Fumich, R. M., Ellison, A. E., Guerin, G. J., & Grace, P. D. (1981). The measured effect of taping on combined foot and ankle motion before and after exercise. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 9(3), 165–170.
  5. Callaghan, M. J. (1997). Role of ankle taping and bracing in the athlete. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 31(2), 102–108.
  6. Hewetson MSc Sports Injury and Therapy BSc(Hons)Osteopathic Medicine Diploma Osteopathy PG Dip Sports Injury and Therapy PG Cert Sports Science, Thomas John, BSc, A. K. B., BSc Pt, G. K., & BSc Pt, M. S. (2009). An Illustrated Guide To Taping Techniques: Principles and Practice (2nd ed.). Mosby Ltd. ISBN-13: 978-0723434825
  7. Kim, B. J., Lee, J. H., Kim, C. T., & Lee, S. M. (2015b). Effects of ankle balance taping with kinesiology tape for a patient with chronic ankle instability. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 27(7), 2405–2406.
  8. Lee, K., Yi, C. W., & Lee, S. (2016b). The effects of kinesiology taping therapy on degenerative knee arthritis patients’ pain, function, and joint range of motion. Journal of Physical Therapy Science, 28(1), 63–66.
  9. Lee, J. H. (2017b). The short-term effectiveness of balance taping on acute nonspecific low-back pain. Medicine, 96(51), e9304.
  10. Malicka, I., Rosseger, A., Hanuszkiewicz, J., & Woźniewski, M. (2014). Kinesiology Taping reduces lymphedema of the upper extremity in women after breast cancer treatment: a pilot study. Menopausal Review, 4, 221–226.
  11. Rao, S., Riskowski, J. L., & Hannan, M. T. (2012). Musculoskeletal conditions of the foot and ankle: Assessments and treatment options. Best Practice & Research Clinical Rheumatology, 26(3), 345–368.
  12. Liu, Y. H., Chen, S. M., Lin, C. Y., Huang, C. I., & Sun, Y. N. (2007). Motion Tracking on Elbow Tissue from Ultrasonic Image Sequence for Patients with Lateral Epicondylitis. 2007 29th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society. Published.
  13. Kaltenborn, J. M., & Kahanov, L. (2007). Kinesio Taping®, Part 1: An Overview of Its Use in Athletes. Athletic Therapy Today, 12(3), 17–18.
  14. Bassett KT, Lingman SA, Ellis RF: The use and treatment efficacy of kinaesthetic taping for musculoskeletal conditions: A systematic review. N Z J Physiother 2010;38:56-62.
  15. Kachanathu, S. J., Algarni, F. S., Nuhmani, S., Alenazi, A. M., Hafez, A. R., & Algarni, A. D. (2018). Functional outcomes of kinesio taping versus standard orthotics in the management of shin splint. The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 58(11).
  16. Choi, I. R., & Lee, J. H. (2018). Effect of kinesiology tape application direction on quadriceps strength. Medicine, 97(24), e11038.
  17. Feiler, S. (2006). Taping like in professional sports: targeted stabilization and early mobilization of the ankle MMW – Fortschritte Med., 148(40), 47–49.
  18. Paris, D. L., Kokkaliaris, J., & Vardaxis, V. (1995). Ankle ranges of motion during extended activity periods while taped and braced. Journal of athletic training, 30(3), 223–228.

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