Skip to Main Content

We have a new app!

Take the Access library with you wherever you go—easy access to books, videos, images, podcasts, personalized features, and more.

Download the Access App here: iOS and Android. Learn more here!



  1. Discuss and explain the types, objectives, and application recommendations for taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding techniques used when preventing, treating, and rehabilitating injuries.

  2. Discuss and demonstrate the ability to select the appropriate types of tapes, wraps, braces, and pads used when preventing, treating, and rehabilitating various injuries.

Taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding techniques have been used for many years by health care professionals in the prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation of injuries. Athletic trainers, the allied health care professionals who typically apply the techniques, are skilled in technique application as a result of instruction and practice. For example, in a day, a typical athletic trainer may tape 20 ankles, wrap two hand contusions, apply three knee braces, and construct two protective pads. With appropriate didactic instruction in anatomy, biomechanics, injury evaluation, treatment, and rehabilitation, students can become proficient in the application of these techniques. In fact, practice may be the only hurdle to becoming proficient.

Current research investigating the effectiveness of taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding techniques has demonstrated conflicting results among various populations. Many researchers have examined the influence of taping and bracing techniques on the reduction of injuries, functional performance, proprioception, balance, and joint position sense. Although these studies have provided useful empirical data, much remains unknown. In later chapters, reviews and summaries of relevant studies will be presented in "Research Brief" boxes and accompany specific taping, wrapping, bracing, and padding techniques.


The use of tape in preventing, treating, and rehabilitating injuries and conditions has been and continues to be popular with health care professionals. Many intercollegiate and professional sport medical staffs allot large proportions of their budgets to tape and associated supplies necessary for application. There are many different types of tape, and decisions regarding which type to purchase and use should be based on the desired objective of the technique.


Tapes fall into three main categories: non-elastic, elastic, and cast (Fig. 1–1). Non-elastic and elastic tapes have an adhesive backing that can adhere directly to the skin and other materials.

Fig. 1–1

A Variety of non-elastic tape. B Variety of heavyweight and lightweight elastic tape. C Variety of semirigid and rigid cast tape.


As the name implies, non-elastic tape does not possess elastic properties, so conformability to body contours can be difficult. Non-elastic tape is manufactured in a variety of sizes and colors. The most commonly used is white, which is available in 1/2, 1, 11/2, 2, and 3 inch widths by 10 to 15 yard lengths (see Fig. 1–1A).

Non-elastic tape is made of cotton and/or polyester with a zinc oxide adhesive mass backing. Some ...

Pop-up div Successfully Displayed

This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over. Otherwise it is hidden from view.