Rock & Roll with RockTape
My body could stand the crutches but my mind couldn't stand the sideline- Michael Jordan.
Some hold Rocktape as a ‘miracle’ – and if used correctly it can often make a world of difference. Aside from looking really awesome and make you feel like a professional athlete, it’s a fantastic tool that I use in the clinic. But, it’s a tool not a solution - it has limitations and as your sports performance guy, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t shine some light on this.
The most important thing to remember is that kinesiology tape is a tool to help injury, recovery and performance – Dr. Google can diagnose many things and teach you a lot BUT you should always get checked by a professional and if you want to use kinesiology tape then please seek out someone that is certified to do it! Proper diagnosis and correct injury management is the priority, and soldiering on can often cause more harm than good, with or without taped assistance.
This is a summary of the 5 main and in my opinion, important things to know about RockTape. I have also included my 5 top tips for applying RockTape, DIY style!
RockTape – what are the benefits?
1. When RockTape is applied with little or no stretch on the tape but lots of stretch on the tissue it causes the skin to wrinkle. This lifts the skin and decompresses the tissue underneath.
2. As pressure on the tissue is reduced, movement between the layers of tissue is restored which means someone who could only bend as far as their knees before treatment is likely to be able to get closer to the floor.
3. Pain associated with movement is generated by an increased build-up of pressure in the the space between the skin and muscle resulting in increased pressure on nerve endings. By decompressing this space, tape can alleviate the pressure on these nerve endings thus reducing pain. In addition, applying tape to inflamed areas helps fluid to be removed faster.
4. Applying RockTape with more stretch helps support tissue that has been strained or torn. Muscle tissue that has been weakened or lengthened also benefits from tape with more stretch as the tissue is better supported and the tape aids ‘snapback’ which is the return to a normal state during movement.
5. RockTape delays fatigue and research has shown it reduces it. If you are coming back from a calf injury for example, taping to delay fatigue to the calf muscle is great for recovery but reducing fatigue to the calf and supporting muscles will also improve performance while reducing risk of re-injury - win-win!
So you’ve decided RockTape is the tape for you, you’ve ordered it, it’s turned up and you get it out the box. What now?
RockTape have fantastic videos on the website and every roll comes with a little handout sheet to show you how to tape your sore bits. However, before taping yourself or someone else – read my 5 top tips on applying Rocktape properly:
1. Always apply RockTape to dry, clean and hair free skin (shave that unnecessary hair people!). Tape applied to body hair pulls hair not skin so will not work effectively.
2. Round the ends of the RockTape before applying it. Square edges catch clothing and bedding etc. plus it is a telltale sign of a DIY job.
3. Anchor the ends to ensure the RockTape sticks properly. Whether applying as stretch or decompressing sections always make sure that the first and last inch of your tape is applied with no stretch at the end – the anchor points. RockTape is put onto it’s paper with 10% stretch so peel the paper at the end, allow the tape to recoil and then stick down. This will ensure the tape lasts longer before peeling off.
4. Do not touch the glue with your hands!
5. Once the RockTape is applied, rub it. The friction and heat activates the glue and makes it stick more effectively. Also, ensure the ends are stuck to skin not tape – no amount of rubbing makes tape stick to tape very well.
I hope this has been useful? Until next time....
Rob, Norwich’s Sport Performance Guy
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