One of the many treatments physiotherapists provide to clients is therapeutic strapping or bracing.
Strapping tape is applied to an area of the body in order to relieve pain, improve joint stability. It can also reduce the recurrence of an injury or to prevent injury.
There are three types of strapping tape – rigid and elastic strapping tape and kinesiology tape. A relatively new method, “kinesio taping” uses a very thin, stretchy, cotton-based therapeutic tape. Kinesiology tape resembles human skin in both thickness and elasticity. This means there is no restriction or constriction of movement in the taped area.
When is Strapping Necessary?
Your physio may choose to recommend therapeutic strapping to:
1. stabilise or support an injury
2. promote pain relief by removing load from the injured area
3. facilitate normal movement, muscles or postural patterns.
However, it is important to remember that taping is a supplementary form of therapy. The first line of action should be to look at the cause of the pain or discomfort and fix those issues.
When to Stop Strapping
Often physiotherapists will see clients who have recurrent injuries or pain from an injury that occurred many years prior.
At the time of the initial injury, the physiotherapist or doctor may have strapped the area to stabilize it. Unfortunately, over time, the reliance on strapping or bracing the injury has grown. The client does not want to attempt to undertake any activity without first strapping the area.
Many people fail to cease therapeutic strapping once their injury has healed. It becomes a “crutch”. The pain or the thought of being injured again is so strong that they will not give up on the tape as it gives them reassurance.
Alternatives to Strapping
Once an injury is sufficiently healed, it is important to take away the strapping or bracing of the area and work on strengthening the area.
A physiotherapist will first identify any strength, mobility or movement pattern problems. Then he or she will develop and treatment and rehabilitation plan to suit.
The Number 1 Exercise for Total Body Mobility
It’s time to get moving again! Here one of the best exercises that you can do for full body mobility.
The Goblet Squat
Squatting is a basic human movement and a truly functional exercise. Performing squats can build muscle, improve flexibility and mobility, assist with balance and strengthen weak ligaments, connective tissues and stabiliser muscles.
Goblet squats differ from a regular squat by being a weighted exercise. They are in fact a full-body movement. Goblet squats work your quads, calves, glutes and core. Because you are using a weight, they also work your arms and improve grip strength.
1. Start by standing up straight with your legs hip-width apart. Hold a light kettlebell (a dumbbell, medicine ball, or anything else that’s heavy and compact will also work) close to your chest.
2. Drop down into a low squat. Make sure to keep your chest out, head up and your back straight.
3. Keep your weight on your heels. Your feet should be flat on the ground.
4. Get down as low into the squat as your flexibility allows. This maximises glute activation.
5. Pause at the bottom of the squat and push out your knees with your elbows.
6. Do not let your knees deviate inwards, as a guide they should track in line with your feet.
7. Drive up, squeezing your glutes and return to the standing position.
You can make small adjustments to this exercise to make it more challenging or work different areas. For example you can add an overhead press at the top of the movement to work the shoulders and upper back.