Strapping & Taping

Strapping and tapes, bandages and braces, what do they all mean and what do you use for what? Gone are the days when you used a bit of old sheet to wrap around your ankle to keep it in place!

Hopefully this explanation of strapping and taping etc will be helpful to unravel the mystery of the different types of strapping that you can use. Here are some of the most common types.


This needs to be applied by a trained person. It has very strong adhesive and sticks to body contours. It’s elastic properties mean that it will ‘give’ a little with tissue changes but still gives strong support and compression for very bad sprains.

ZINC OXIDE TAPE-(sometimes called Inelastic Tape)

This material doesn’t give therefore it is ideal for limiting movement and gives reinforcement. Used for sprains and twists.


This clever bandage sticks to itself and not to the person so there is no need for under wrap ( yes another new word but as you can guess it is for use under the tape). This bandage will help to reduce swelling.


Used for many things like holding cold packs on or securing braces or dressings. It offers some support.


Probably the most common bandage that we’ve all had on at one time or another. Made of cotton it is very comfortable but not much use for support when active as it will slip and slide around. It is better to use when resting for gentle support.


A thin foam material which is applied before the tape.


Helps to remove the tape easily from the skin by dissolving the adhesive or (skin cements). The adhesive can be irritating if left on and is very stubborn to remove without the aid of an adhesive remover.

Importantly, strapping should either be done by a doctor or trained professional and their advice followed, as incorrect strapping can not only cause harm, but if not properly supported, the injury could become worse unknown to the athlete whilst he is playing his sport. Also, there is no absolutely correct method of strapping or taping as every patient is different and has their own individual needs.


Braces are very popular today for their ease of putting on and taking off and once you have bought one it will last you quite some time, unlike with strapping or taping. There are braces for all parts of the body and are made in comfortable elasticated materials. They will help greatly to prevent further injury and help rehabilitation.