Therapeutic Taping for Musculoskeletal Conditions

Therapeutic Taping for Musculoskeletal Conditions is a practical and enlightening text. It discusses and demonstrates a range of taping techniques to be used in conjunction with other treatments to address complaints.

Therapeutic Taping

Authors: - Maria Constantinou and Mark Brown

As someone who’s direct experience with therapeutic taping was limited to buddy strapping the occasional injured finger and having it done to my own dodgy knee, a text on such a topic may have been a wasted read. Not so.

Therapeutic Taping for Musculoskeletal Conditions is a practical and enlightening text. It discusses and demonstrates a range of taping techniques to be used in conjunction with other treatments to address complaints. Although targeted at clinicians and students specializing in musculoskeletal conditions, this is a useful guide for any practitioner assisting a patient with a bone or soft tissue injury.

Practitioners familiar with taping will find Therapeutic Taping to be a valuable reference, an easy to navigate and well structured manual. Chapters 1-3 provide theory, while chapters 4-6 detail procedures for each joint of the upper body, lower body, spine and pelvis respectively. Chapter 7 covers soft casting techniques as an alternative for those with sensitivities to adhesives or requiring frequent taping.

A working understanding of anatomy is assumed as it systematically details taping procedures, including materials required, best positioning for therapist and patient, and outcome measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the technique. While the novice may require the assistance of an anatomy text to assist the interpretation of the written components, all instructions are accompanied by useful photographic illustrations. The provision of an instructional DVD will assist greater understanding of complex or unfamiliar procedures.

Those not so familiar with the concepts will appreciate the background and rationale for taping. References of available evidence for each procedure are also provided although, as addressed by the authors, the door is open for those wanting to fill the gaps in well conducted published research.

After reading the applicable section, the newly informed would be prepared to answer the inevitable afterthought questions from the patient after the clinician had left the room. Care of the tape, post taping precautions, warnings and removal are discussed, even outlined in a Patient Information Sheet provided as an appendix.

Key Features of the book:

  • each technique is underpinned by current evidence-based practice and/or research
  • highly illustrated with clear step by step instructions
  • accompanying DVD demonstrating 80 taping techniques for self directed learning
  • based on body quadrants with anatomical drawing to assist with correct placement

The authors provide a valid (evidence based when available) case for the use of taping as an adjunct to provide mechanical, neuromuscular and psychological therapeutic effects in the treatment of musculoskeletal complaints. The text is comprehensive covering a range of interventions, some highly unlikely to be carried out in the ED; however it may prove to be handy addition to the Emergency Department Fast track library.

In an environment burdened with patient expectations of providing a complete service within specified time constraints, taping of a sprain or strain may be an efficient contribution in reducing pain, especially in sub acute injuries of the peripheries such as wrists, hands, ankles and feet when swelling has peaked prior to presentation. For patients requiring support for greater than the 48 hour maximum life span of tape, soft casting techniques could be employed if resources permit.

Despite its content being valuable for the Physiotheripists, Doctors and Nurses of ED’s, the physical design of this soft covered spiral bound book would not provide the durability required to last the distance in the rough and tumble of the fast-track room.

Therapeutic Taping informs and instructs the reader on a topic which may be well or poorly understood in a user friendly manner. This text has educated me on the availability of a technique which can reduce pain, strain, stress and correct biomechanical errs, and has prompted me to consider alternatives when providing support to an injured area, either improving my technique when simply buddy strapping a finger, or contacting the appropriate clinician to discuss management methods.

Guest Author:
This book review was written by Trudy Guest a clinical nurse supremo, who’s currently working as a staff development nurse at Sir Charles Gardiner Hospital emergency department.
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