FUNCTIONAL or ATHLETIC TAPING
This is the process of applying tape directly to the skin in order to maintain a stable position of joints and muscles during movement and/or athletic activity. There are two main categories of this taping: Prescription Taping to support an injury and Preventative Taping to prevent an injury. These tapings can be applied to ankles, knees, wrists, and elbows. The goals of taping are to restrict the motion of an injured joint in order to add temporary stability. It compresses soft tissue to reduce swelling, supports involved joints so as to protect them from re-injury, and adds stability while the injured body part heals.
Elastic Therapeutic Tape, aka Kinesiology Tape (K-Tape), is also used to treat pain and disability from athletic or movement injuries. Kinesio tape is designed to mimic human skin with roughly the same thickness and elastic properties. The recoiling properties of this cotton tape allows for correcting the alignment of weak muscles, as well as facilitating joint motion. The tape also lifts the skin, thereby increasing blood flow and circulation of lymphatic fluids. This increased space causes less pressure on the injured area’s pain receptors and also stimulates the mechanoreceptors, which improves joint proprioception.