I know how frustrating it can be to be sidelined by an injury. I have been there myself. As a professional runner, I also have to deal with the pain of muscles and strains. One thing that helped me in the long run and avoid further injuries is sports tape. Sports tape reduces injuries, pain and ultimately improves performance. One of the most important tools for injury prevention. It comes in different types, each with specific needs and conditions.
In this blog, I’ll discuss the different types of sports tape and their uses. I will also share some personal tips on correctly applying sports tape.
Athletic tape is also known as sports tape; it is also one of the most common types of sports tape used in various physical activities. It is made of cotton and supports various body parts such as the ankle, wrists, fingers, and knees. It is used to stabilize joints and protect injured areas from further injury.
- Used to prevent ankle rolls and sprains, especially in high-impact sports like basketball
- It provides stability to the wrist joint during repetitive activities, such as tennis or
- Provides support to prevent hyperextension, commonly used in sports like volleyball or rock climbing.
- Reduces discomfort during movements like running and cycling.
Kinesiology tape, also known as elastic sports or kinesio tape, gained popularity due to its unique elasticity and ability to mimic the skin’s flexibility. Made from cotton with an acrylic adhesive, kinesiology tape supports muscles and joints without restricting movement. It can be used both for injury prevention and rehabilitation.
- Muscle Support: Helps reduce muscle fatigue, cramping, and soreness during activities and provides gentle muscle support.
- Joint Alignment: Improves joint alignment, helps in injury recovery, and increases overall performance.
- Lymphatic Drainage: Reducing swelling and inflammation by promoting improved lymphatic fluid flow.
- Kinesiology Tape is water repellent, meaning it will stay in place for longer.
- It does not restrict movement and provides continuous physical contact to promote good posture and correct technique.
- It can be cut to size to provide targeted support.
- Can stick to the skin for up to 7 days
- Available in different colors: blue, red, etc
Cohesive tape, also known as self-adhesive, is a versatile and flexible tape that sticks only to itself, reducing the need for clips. It is commonly used to secure dressings and compression wraps and provide support during physical activities.
- Compression and Support: Offers consistent reduction for injured areas, which ultimately makes it ideal for strains, sprains, and muscle injuries.
- Dressing Retention: Keeps wound dressings in place during activities where traditional adhesive bandages may not hold up.
- Finger and Hand Wrapping: Provides support to fingers and hands during high-contact sports like rugby or martial arts.
- High levels of flexibility mean it can be applied with varying degrees of tension
- Self Cohesive bandage sticks to itself and not the skin, meaning safety pins are unnecessary.
- Tape can be reapplied to adjust compression intermittently
- Tape is easily torn by hand, meaning no scissors are required
- Available in various colors
Zinc Oxide Tape
Zinc oxide tape, or rigid sports tape, is a non-stretch, white-colored tape that offers robust support to joints and ligaments. It is made of cotton or rayon and features a zinc oxide adhesive, which provides excellent sticking power even in wet conditions.
- Joint Stability: Used to immobilize and support joints, especially in acute injuries like ligament sprains.
- Strapping and Preventing Injuries: Helps prevent injuries in vulnerable areas, like the ankles and wrists, during physically demanding sports.
- Zinc Oxide Tape is durable, breathable, and tolerates humid environments, which makes it adaptable and long-lasting
- The non-stretch cotton material provides support to joints that need to be prevented.
- Available for hands, wrists, ankles, and larger joints
- Adhesive material sticks to the skin and won’t shift around
- Can be torn by hand; no scissors are required
Sports tape is a tool for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone involved in physical activities. Understanding the various types of sports tape and their specific uses can significantly impact injury prevention and recovery. Whether you need compression, joint support, or muscle stabilization, choosing the suitable sports tape will aid in optimizing your performance and overall well-being.
Remember, sports tape should not replace proper warm-up exercises, cool-down routines, or professional medical advice. Consult a sports medicine specialist to determine the most suitable type of sports tape for your unique needs and conditions. With suitable sports tape and proper care, you can stay at the top of your game and confidently enjoy your favorite sports and activities.