Tonight John Wall of the Washington Wizards attempted to use his sprained wrist in warm-ups to see if he could play in tonight’s game against the Atlanta Hawks. After suffering a wrist injury in game 1, the wrist became swollen. J. Michael of CSN-Mid-Atlantic tweeted this image of the player’s wrist.
It’s great to see that the training staff is making strides in staying on the cutting edge of injury management; however, I was disturbed by this feeble attempt of using such an outstanding and effective modality like kinesiology taping to reduce the obvious swelling in his wrist.
When applied crrectly, to reduce swelling in this case, the tape would be applied with the wrist in as much flexion as possible to allow for the recoil of tape to provide the appropriate amount of lift and decompression to the back of his hand. By providing this type of assistance, the kinesiology tape is effectively lifting the skin, therefore increasing the area just below its surface known as the interstitial space. It is in this space where the body is naturally working to move fluid out of the area by means of the lymphatic system as well as reduce the amount of pressure on cutaneous nociceptors (pain) in order to effectively assist in the healing process. When an injury occurs and swelling is present, the space is compromised. Kinesiology tape has been shown to very effective in expediting the removal of excess fluid.
It is important to note that even with a proper application performed, the wrist still may not have been improved enough for playing in tonight’s game. I will say with confidence that you would have seen a much greater reduction in the swelling based upon what is witnessed in the image that was tweeted if it had been applied correctly. As I have stated in the past. Kinesiology Taping works when applied correctly. It is typically the applicator of the taping that is the issue.