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ROCKTAPE is a brand of Kinesiolgy tape that was developed in the USA and is now available in more than 10 countries worldwide.  Barry Spencer is a Chartered Physiotherapist and Medical Development Director for Rocktape.  In this article Barry explains how to safely and effectively apply Rocktape.

To get the most effective results and value for money when using Rocktape, it is important to apply your tape correctly and look after it once it’s on.  Tape that is well applied and looked after will generally last between 3-5 days, though this does vary with individual skin types and the body parts taped.

Each roll of Rocktape comes with a leaflet containing instructions on how to apply tape for some common problems and, in addition to this, below are some simple rules that will help you ensure you apply your tape well.  Video demonstrations of how to apply tape can also be viewed at  www.rocktape.net/how-to-use/
If you are in any way unsure of whether your injury/problem is appropriate for taping, then you should consult a medical professional. For a list of qualified Rock Doc’s in your area, go to http://www.rocktape.co.uk/rock-docs/ and enter your postcode.

Be careful when taping over a body part/person with the following:
• History of tape allergy (these are usual latex based though and Rocktape has no latex)
• Fragile or healing skin
• Deep Venous Thrombosis
• Don’t tape over the following type of skin
• Areas treated with radiation in the past 6 months
• Open wounds
• Infected areas
• Skin preparation
• If you’re concerned about an allergy, apply a small (1cm x 1cm) piece of tape on the front of the elbow. If after 30-60 minutes there is no reaction, then it is considered safe to go ahead and apply tape.
• Remove any oils, creams, waxes, lotions, etc.
• Do not tape sweaty or wet skin
• Shave/ clipper hair if required.  Tape will stick well to hairy skin up to a point, but if you are a very furry fellow then you may have to get the clippers involved!
• Cutting/Measuring tape
• Measure the size of the piece of tape required and then cut the tape
• Fold tape or use lines on backing to judge lengthways cuts
• Round off all corners
• Tear backing paper to remove
• Remove backing paper in stages.  Only remove when ready to be stuck.
• Sticking tape
• Minimise handling of sticky side
• Always apply ends of tape with no stretch
• Apply gentle stretch evenly throughout tape
• Use extra hands to help if they are available
• If you’ve cut too much tape and trimming is required, do it with the paper on
• Rub over ALL of the tape to activate glue before moving

Tape care tips
• Be careful when dressing/ undressing
• Always apply at least 1 hour prior to exercising/swimming/showering
• Try to sit still for 15 min post application
• Tale care when drying after shower, etc. – pat dry, don’t rub. If possible, sit still with the taped area uncovered for 15 min
• The next article in this series will focus on some common injuries/painful areas and how to tape for these problems.