Therapeutic taping is a tried-and-true, first-line therapy in sports medicine. It relieves pain and improves function by supporting injured areas and limiting their function without completely immobilizing them. Therapeutic taping has also been endorsed by the American College of Rheumatology for patients with osteoarthritis.
How does Therapeutic Taping help?
Therapeutic Taping works like a flexible cast. It returns joint structures to their proper positions and keeps them there, taking pressure off impinged nerves and restoring circulation. This not only provides short-term pain relief but also facilitates faster healing by restoring circulation to the area.
Although the new study on therapeutic taping only studied its effects on arthritis of the knee, it is also effective for pain in other joints, including the elbows, wrists, hands, and feet. Furthermore, taping is an extremely effective therapy for strains (muscle tears), sprains (ligament injuries), myositis (inflammation of muscle tissues), and tendinitis (inflammation of tendons). It may also be used to prevent new injuries in susceptible areas, i.e., taping knees before jogging or elbows before playing tennis.
A recent publication of a placebo-controlled study showing that therapeutic taping dramatically reduced pain in patients with arthritis of the knee. In this study, 73 percent of the participants whose knees were taped for three weeks (tape was changed weekly) reported reductions in pain and the benefits of taping persisted after the therapeutic taping was removed.