Courtside with Mitch Hauschildt, MA, ATC, CSCS, Founder Maximum Training Solutions, LLC
How can clinicians integrate kinesiology taping into care plans to prevent lower extremity basketball injuries?
Kinesiology tape has been a game changer for my practice in recent years. I use it mostly to up-regulate the nervous system in areas that need more stability and motor control. From an injury prevention perspective, because the brain controls all of our movement, tape gives me an opportunity to jumpstart the nervous system in specific areas and accelerate my treatment plan. It hasn’t taken the place of anything in my practice, but it has improved my results and made life easier on me.
What is the benefit of combining taping and corrective exercises vs. just doing one or the other?
I always combine exercise with taping applications. As much as I love tape, it is just a means to an end for me. The only way that I can truly make long term permanent changes with the nervous system is through corrective exercise. So, I use tape ti improve joint position or improve stability to open up a window of trainability. Then I jump through that window with exercises to lock in the results.
What are your go-to taping applications for preventing for ACL injuries?
It all depends on their dysfunction. But, as a general rule, athletes who are at greatest risk for ACL tears tend to struggle with foot pronation and valgus at the knee that originates at the hip. So, addressing both the hip and foot with a lower extremity helical taping is a good application. If I have someone who’s dysfunction tends to be mostly driven by poor hip control, I really like a tweak taping variation that I use on the proximal thigh where I bias the skin into external rotation as I lay the tape from the inner thigh to the glutes to help the athlete keep a neutral position and avoid valgus. And, for athletes (oftentimes young females) who struggle with overall stability and/or deceleration, I use a diaphragm taping to provide them with trunk stability and motor control to provide them with a good, stable platform to work off of.
What are your go-to exercises for preventing for ACL injuries? How frequently should athletes do them?
Again, frequency depends on a lot of factors including what their dysfunction is, their maturity, training status and whether or not I’m able to work with them on a regular basis or not. As a general rule, I prefer not to tape people long term as a maintenance type intervention. Instead, I use it as an adjunct to my training. With that being said, if they are a new athlete to me and they have some sort of a dysfunction, I usually keep them in tape constantly for the first couple of weeks. I change it out every 3-5 days and use corrective exercise during this time period. As they start feeling better and moving better, I will take the tape off for a day or two and then reapply and gradually increase the amount of time they spend without any time over the next few weeks until they are out of it all together.
Interested in learning more about Basketball injuries? Watch our course with Mitch Hauschildt, MA, ATC, CSCS. To the course