Athletic taping is a traditional method of taping, normally used to help recover from overuse injuries, which provides benefits when playing sport or carrying out physical activity. It is usually made from cotton, backed with a strong zinc-oxide adhesive, making it resistant to sweat and can adhere directly to the skin, or stick to itself.
The primary function of the tape is to provide added support to the joints, muscles and ligaments, by reducing the movement physically keeping a joint or muscle in a fixed position. Zinc-oxide tape is used specifically for the immobilisation of joints as it is rigid, meaning it will not stretch. Elastic Adhesive Bandage (EAB) tape has a slight length ways stretch meaning that it can be manipulated to combine support, compression and flexibility to an injured joint. Both of these tapes aim to reduce pain and can aid with recovery. In essence, it aims to protect the injured area whilst it is recovering.
In addition to the physiological benefits of using athletic taping, it can also provide a psychological benefit to the athlete. With the tape properly applied, athletes can focus on playing their game, and not worry about the risk of getting injured, or worsening their current injury.