Last time we talked about some of the application techniques of elastic therapeutic taping. This time we’ll go over some of the general instructions that we give to our patients when the tape is used as physiotherapy treatment.
- Edges coming off. If you see the edges of the tape are starting to roll up, you can try rubbing the tape back down and see if it would stick again as the heat from friction would activate the acrylic adhesive. If that doesn’t work, the adhesive has weakened and it won’t get activated again to stick back on. At this point it’s best to trim the edges off carefully and keep the remaining part of the tape or completely take it off and apply a new one instead.
- Moisture. The tape is water-resistant but not water-proof. You can wear the tape in the shower or even when you go for a swim, but prolonged exposure to water would weaken the adhesive of the tape, especially if it’s applied near “high traffic” areas like the back of the hand or the bottom of the foot. After exposing it to water, it’s best to let the tape dry first before covering the area as it would trap the moisture under the tape and weaken the adhesive.
- Removal. The best time to take the tape off is when the tape is wet like after taking a shower. Some would find removing the tape from the top down to be easier as it would be in the direction of the body hair, but our patients have also reported that removing it from the bottom up is more comfortable. Regardless of which direction you find more comfortable with, it’s still best to remove the tape by lifting it up slightly and pushing the skin away from it.
Richard Kung, Registered Physiotherapist
Doctor of Physiotherapy, Bachelor of Science (Kinesiology)