Soft Tissue Injury Management: Compression and Taping
PTA 101 Introduction to Clinical Practice 1

Instructional Use Statement

The following information is used for instructional purposes for students enrolled in the Physical Therapist Assistant Program at Lane Community College. It is not intended for commercial use or distribution or commercial purposes. It is not intended to serve as medical advice or treatment.

Lesson Objectives

  1. Describe symptoms of soft tissue pathology for which compression and taping treatment may be included in a physical therapy plan of care

  2. Describe indications, procedures, and benefits for protective taping and wrapping in response to tissue injury.
    1. triangular
    2. ankle (circular and figure-8)
    3. calf
    4. scapula
    5. elastic taping
  3. Describe methods to check for impaired circulation following compression
  4. Describe advantages for taping vs. bandaging a soft tissue injury
  5. Define and describe terminology used for grading muscle strains
  6. Define and describe terminology used for grading ankle sprains
  7. Identify common sites for muscle contusion injuries
  8. Define and describe common types and causes of muscle contusions
  9. Describe two primary taping methods use in rehabilitation
  10. Compare and contrast rigid vs. elastic taping for treatment of signs and symptoms of soft tissue injuries


Compression and Taping for Tissue Healing

Compression and taping are most often used during the acute and subacute phases of tissue healing. Soft tissues must be protected while working through gentle and progessive motion, so that potential for full healing is maximized. PTAs should be able to apply knowledge of tissue healing principles when selecting compression and taping interventions.

Self-Assessment from Kisner and Colby Readings

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Sprains and Strains

Ankle sprain

Ankle sprain is one of the most common and recurrent ligamentous injury. Your handouts for this lecture include an article which specifically addresses ankle sprain management.

 Some guidelines for reading the linked handout on ankle sprains:

Grading systems for sprains and strains are the same. The higher the grade, the more severe the injury.

Muscle Contusions

Bruises are muscle contusions, usually due to some blunt force to the contractile tissue.

Muscle Strains


PT Intervention - Compression

How to Tell If an Ace Bandage is Too Tight


How to Wrap a Calf with an Ace Wrap


How to Wrap a Wrist with An Ace Bandage

Figure 8 Bandage

Applying a Triangular Sling


PT Intervention - Taping

  1. Scapular Taping
    1. Read the introduction and then skim the content until you reach the 'Assessment' section (p. 806). Focus on treatment and techniques. The Discussion includes the author's rationale
  2. Summary of Common Taping Techniques
    1. Rigid vs. elastic taping outcomes
    2. Taping for a Sprained Finger - Finger Buddy


Videos of Taping Techniques

Kinesiotaping for Shoulder Strain/Pain


How to Tape a Sprained Ankle

How to Wrap a Pulled Quad with Athletic Tape



Low-Dye Taping Technique for the Foot


End of Lecture