Taping and Wrapping Athletic Injuries

May 26, 2017
Chris Kuzniak, M.D.

Taping and Wrapping Athletic Injuries

An injury can happen to anyone, whether you're playing hoops at the local gym or simply out for a jog. In fact, it is highly likely that anyone who participates in a physical activity of sorts will sustain some kind of injury, if not multiple injuries over a lifetime. Among the top work-out related injuries are:

  • Pulled or strained muscle
  • Ankle sprain
  • Shoulder injury
  • Knee pain
  • Wrist sprain or dislocation.

Whether your injury is to your knee, hip, elbow, ankle, wrist or another part of your body, it is important to look at ways to prevent and support further pain and damage. One of these ways is taping and wrapping.

wrapping an ankle in a stretch crepe bandage


Used in first aid for an injury. To be specific, wrapping is considered part of the compression part of the RICE treatment (rest, ice, compress, elevate). RICE treatment is designed to alleviate and limit the symptoms of an injury upon onset such as a pulled hamstring or sprained ankle. Wrapping can include applying the right compression as well as properly positioning an ice pack upon the injury. This technique is used to eliminate or reduce swelling of the joint in order to decrease recovery time.


Normally used as a preventive measure by a person that might desire to deter additional injuries from happening to previously impacted joints or muscles. Though there are several taping methods, the goal for most is to allow normal movement of the joint while providing additional, preventive support. In addition to various methods for taping, there are several options for tape itself:

Supportive Tape

A durable, white tape usually applied by athletic trainers to athletes. The tape is used to manage and limit mobility around a joint. Because the tape is breathable and contains zinc oxide, it can form a cast-like support to the joint as one’s body temperature increases. A stiffer, more cloth-like tape is typically used for for smaller joints like the ankles and wrists whereas a more high-twist cotton elastic tape is used for larger joints like the elbow or knee.

Compression or Coverage Tape

Usually an elastic, spandex- cotton blend that is light in support and can be used overtop other tapes. This tape is often used over supportive tapes that might dry out and break lose. Since they are not typically applied directly to the skin, the adhesive is not always sticky to the skin.

Corrective Tape

Like Kinesiotape, corrective tape is an elastic, cloth tape with grooved adhesive that normally comes in a roll or pre-cut sections and can be worn upwards of 3-4 days. It is reported to decrease strain and pain, support muscles and joints as well as affect the body’s lymph function. Application of the tape can be tricky as the right amount of tension and layout must be appropriate for the body part that is being treated. Typically a trained professional like an athletic trainer or practitioner will apply the tape initially and teach its user how to do it on their own.

Waterproof Tape.

It's just that, waterproof. The tape is normally flexible and sweat proof which makes it useful for water sports and excessive sweating.We are also here to help! If you’re ready for support or want more information on treating athletic injuries, drop us an email or give us a call at 877-293-9355 ext. 0!


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