DO and DON'T when applying adhesive rigid sports tape - guidelines for all joints

Updated: Apr 12, 2021


sports tape from Amazon
Adhesive sports tape

General principles for applying sports tape:

DO the following:

  • Know your joint's movement and function.

  • Know how the common injury occurs at the joint.

  • Know the purpose of applying tape for yourself. Is it for locking the joint, supporting the movement in a particular range, or as injury prevention?



Guidelines for applying adhesive tape:

DO the following:


Tear the rigid sports tape to the width you need

Prepare the skin before applying adhesive tape:

  • DO shave, clean, and dry the tapping area. If you intend to tape in the middle of an exercise, clean the sweat before you do so.

underwrap from Amazon
Underwrap for sports tape
  • DO apply tape adherent or skin prep before tapping. Use an appropriate amount to make the skin sticky.

  • DO use underwrap or gauze pads as skin protective material.

  • DO NOT apply the tape after cold or hot therapy. Allow the affected part to return to normal temperature before tapping.




Joint position when applying sports tape:

DO position the joint in a correct position to achieve the tapping objectives and at the same time allow free range of functional and desirable movement. For example, place your ankle in 90 degrees and neutral position, secure the ankle in a way that allows running but prevents the ankle-twisting in external or internal rotation.

CAUTION in apply sports tape:

DO NOT APPLY tape adherent and adhesive tape if you are allergic to them. If you have sensitive skin, choose non-allergenic adhesive tape and apply a few layers of gauze pads and underwrap before tapping.


Applying the tape - step by step:

  • DO apply the tape smoothly and firmly.

  • DO NOT crimp and wrinkle it, as these may affect circulation, causing irritation to nerves, tendons, muscles, or forming blisters in the skin.

  • DO tear the tape properly by stretching the tape. DO NOT allow the edge to fold over into the tape area. Use forearm movement instead of fingers to break the tape.

do and don't when using rigid sports tape
  • DO individualized tapping procedures. Understand what specific problem, including, e.g., which particular injury you need to prevent or what injured body part you need to protect by tapping.

  • DO use minimum tape to achieve your tapping objectives.

Removing the adhesive tape step by step:

  • DO remove the tape after exercises or sports activities.

  • DO use only bandage scissors/tape cutters to cut the tape off. Bandage scissors have a blunt end on one side to prevent cutting your skin. Use the bandage scissors and tape cutters properly and use the body contour to serve as the path for cutting.

use bandage scissors to remove rigid sports tape

  • DO use tape-removal liquids to remove the sticky tape.

  • DO rinse the skin with water or soap and apply moisturizing cream after tape removal.

  • DO apply antiseptic ointment if the skin is damaged by tape.

  • DO SEEK MEDICAL HELP if an allergy developed.


smith&nephew skin prep for using before applying rigid sports tape

  • Ingredients: isopropyl alcohol, butyl ester of PVM, MA copolymer, acetyl tributyl citrate

  • Form effective protection between tape and skin.

  • Reduces the risk of tape stripping.

  • Helps tape, film, and appliance adhesion.

  • Reduces friction

  • Pediatric tested

  • CHG compatible (will not compromise the effectiveness of instant and persistent germs killing products)

Directions of use: Apply Skin-prep wipe and allow to dry thoroughly. Film coating forms and bonds to the skin. Film coating does not have to be removed from the skin when changing bandages or appliances.


Warning: Flammable

Use in a well-ventilated area and DON'T use near flames or sources of ignition.

For external use only. DON'T apply on an open wound. Stings will be experienced if contacts cut or open wounds. Avoid contact with eyes and keep out of reach of children.



smith&nephew remove is a removal liquids for rigid sports tape

  • Ingredients: dipropylene glycol methyl ether, C10-11 isoparaffin, aloe extract, benzyl alcohol, fragrance

  • Gently remove tapes and adhesives

  • Reduces risk of irritation and skin-stripping

  • Contain aloe

Directions of use: Hold saturated wipe at the edge of tape or appliance. Squeeze gently so fluid flows between skin and adhesive. Slowly pull tape and keep liquid in line with the adhesive. Cleanse skin thoroughly with water and pat dry.


Warning: Flammable

Use in a well-ventilated area and DON'T use near flames or sources of ignition. DON'T inhale the vapors. For external use only. Avoid contact with eyes and keep out of reach of children.


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