Functional Fascial Taping
“Hello there.Thanks for the very informative articles on sports taping. I wonder if you could shed some light on this other taping method, FFT. Heard it is quite effective for some injuries.”- James Poon
FFT, otherwise known as Functional Fascial Taping, is quite effective in managing almost most injuries, especially the ones where you are able to pin-point the exact spot of pain. However, please be clear that it is not your silver bullet as it mainly just decreases the pain felt but not solve your problem. FFT should be used as an adjunct to therapy and not as a treatment by itself.
FFT is totally different from the rest of the taping that is generally on the market. The most common taping technique is restrictive or protective taping, which does not allow full range of movement. For Kinesio taping, it is generally used as a facilitatory taping technique to allow the muscles to heal. For FFT, the main purpose is to decrease your pain significantly to allow you to either do your exercises or to be able to continue with your activity temporarily until you have completed your rehabilitation.
The proposed theory of how this taping technique decreases pain is by changing the loading on the fascia, which is a layer of tissue that lies beneath the skin. It is known that virtually every organ, muscle and joint in the human body has a fascia attached to it and by distracting the fascia, it would normalize the way how the muscle or joint would function, thus decreasing pain. With a decrease in pain, this would allow the patient to be able to do his or her prescribed exercises better without any compensatory mechanisms which may arise from pain avoidance behaviour.
The amazing ability of FFT to significantly decrease pain (by approximately >50%) lies in the specificity of the direction of distraction provided by the tape. FFT has to be applied in a direction specific manner onto the area(s) of pain and in the order that had provided the best possible relieve. This may involve one or more directions and some may even be seemed as being in the opposite direction from each other. This is believed to be able to distract the fascia in the most appropriate manner to decrease the strain onto the joint or muscle which would then cause a decrease in pain.
To achieve the best possible result, preparation of the skin is essential. The skin should be shaved at least 24 hours before the application of the tape and it is best to have the area cleaned properly. However, in such a humid environment like Singapore, application of the tape is made much more challenging as the tape might not adhere well to the skin. Thus adhesive spray might be used to enable the tape to stick properly. The main precaution for all who has taped applied onto them is to remove the tape immediately if it itches as this means that your skin is very sensitive to the tape. If that happens, please wash the skin that has been taped thoroughly and apply either some calamine lotion or anti-itch cream.
Thus, with the application of FFT, it might speed up your recovery period thereby allowing you return to your daily activities pain-free and as soon as possible.