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Athletic development specialists dedicated to the art and science of excellence in movement

Rocktape Level I Recap: 20 Take Home Points

Better late than never for this post!! Thanks to Dr. Kreisworth and the team at Rocktape for an excellent course!

1) How is it different than other taping courses? Rocktape believes their tape is better product. But the theoretical basis is different. Rocktape = more movement based rather than protocols based on “excitation” and “inhibition.” But they ultimately rely on same evidence/studies. Many of the basic tape techniques are very similar in way tape is placed, just different reasons

2) Excellent review of skin anatomy and appreciate the importance of the skin as an organ. Even if you aren’t using tape, no matter what intervention you are using, a skin anatomy lesson is a nice reminder that you don’t need to “smash” and “go deep” to elicit changes

3) Skin is the largest organ in the body. We can affect it through pain, decompression, and neurosensory

4) Tape is one piece of the puzzle. Using tape as a strategy for assisting movement.  The formula = Soft tissue + tape + exercise.  Tape helps to lock it in…Or to assist…Tape = form of pattern assistance in FMS 4 x 4 matrix

5) Neuroscience based understanding – think of tape as lightly being tapped on the shoulder.  It can be reassuring for a period, but it could also be annoying if going on for too long or if done too forcefully. This is also generally good lesson for any manual therapy approach; good reminder about dosage and titration of intervention

6) Movement is life. Less movement equals greater risk of death (Ability to Sit and Rise from the Floor as  Predictor of All Cause Mortality…Brito 2014). Tape is part of the big picture to keep moving!! 

7) If worried about skin breakouts/rashes, use a test patch on small area of skin

8) Can feel effects of tape even if applied outside of clothes (again, how forceful do we need to be with manual therapy, when the ultimate thing we are concerned with is the brain’s perception of the stimulus, rather than the actual biomechanics of the stimulus…?)

9) If you apply regular athletic tape (such as to support an ankle), it only keeps the supportive properties for 20 minutes (barely enough through the warmup or first quarter of game at best). So why do we still do it? All about perception (you could call it placebo), but at the least the brain detects a skin contact and perceives support

10) Need patients to be off threat. Tape is one of many ways to accomplish this

11) Don’t shave completely. Leave hair in place to maintain neuroception

12) Tape on the skin can calm autistic kids (but can severely piss off others!!!)

13) Can you “activate” or “inhibit” muscle through laying down tape on an area of skin, through which tape has to travel through several layers to reach muscle??  We really don’t know…all we can do is lay down tape touching skin and give the brain a chance to make a decision

14) Tactile learning is faster than visual. One benefit of using the tape. Brain MUST make a decision on what to do in response to tape

15) Good review of joint-by-joint. Important to understand movement at this level. If you understand movement you can figure out where and how you want to tape. No set protocols for laying down tape (“open source”)

16) Infants are not born with hardened IT band. It develops through use in weight bearing.  This is one example of function driving structure (many other examples from DNS curriculum). But relating back to tape, we simply think of tape as way to guide movement through the structural and the functional

17) Progression and regression of taping. Again, a useful example of the thought process required for all forms of manual therapy and exercise. How many providers actually have a plan for tape dosage versus “let’s just leave it on until it falls off or you start feeling a little better”?? (in fairness, we often can’t predict how long the tape will stay on due to moisture, lifestyle, etc)

18) Sometimes it is ok to “chase pain.” Need to “turn off the alarm” along with figuring out where the fire is located and how best to extinguish it

19) We can learn a lot from animal behavior and how they respond to stimuli such as tape. Vivid examples of how tape is fundamentally a neurological adjunct

20) Active exercise and patient education are primary tools in an outpatient sports clinic, but these might not be enough if you need to be on the field in two hours.  True, you could say they should be resting and not pushing to point where tape is needed. But in team sports, having that individual on the game or practice field can be essential for team chemistry. Tape can fit into this bigger picture