Tape the Rainbow!

When clients enter my Physio treatment room, one of the first things they see is a row of tape in many colours and patterns. Why do I have so many options? Colour may alter the effectiveness of the tape application. This is not because different colours have different characteristics (standard RockTape all has the same amount of stretch and adhesiveness). It is because different individuals may have certain preferences towards one colour or style. The reasons behind these preferences vary – some people may want to wear a colour that represents their sports team, while others may want tape that stands out and is flashy. Another individual may even prefer wearing tape that is not obvious. Applying tape to somebody certainly has mechanical and neurosensory benefits, but it also has an effect on our emotions and perception.

An example of this would be applying tape to an athlete. If I am treating an athlete whose team colours are red and black, and I put blue tape on them (which may be the team colour of their competitor), they will often tell me at their next appointment that the blue tape wasn’t helpful. If I then repeat the application with red or black tape, they will often tell me the tape was very helpful that time.

This isn’t true only for the athletic population. Individuals who need to maintain a professional appearance at work may prefer a lighter colour tape (the hemp tape is great for these clients), especially if the tape application is going to be in a location not hidden by their clothing.

There are many more situations than I described above where colour may matter. Next time you’re using tape on a client, get creative and involve them by letting them choose their own colour. It may in fact improve the outcome of the tape application.

By Julia Mitchell, PT and Rocktape ambassador 

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