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The writs and four fingers of a hand are wrapped in yellow, red, blue, and green cohesive bandage while in front of a white background
Nobody should sleep on cohesive bandage and it’s numerous capabilities

Athletic taping in general has a wide range of tapes to work with for any purpose you might have. Some of the more handy options could get overlooked, like rigid or kinesiology tape. Now, it’s time for the ever-surprising cohesive bandage. 

In this article, you’ll learn more about this type of sports medicine tape. You’ll realise it’s undeniable value not just in the sports industry but in our overall health and healing. Let’s read first on what exactly is a cohesive bandage. Hint, It’s not a bandage.

What Is a Cohesive Bandage?

A red roll of cohesive bandage is in front of a white background and on a white table
Know what cohesive bandage is and how it works

A cohesive bandage, or cohesive athletic tape, is a kind of compression tape, not a bandage. Made up of several unwoven materials, such as polymer, cotton, yarn, and even latex, it’s a rather inventive strapping. Because of the material, and the overall structure of the tape, it has this unique texture. It’s this texture that gives it this amazing stretch. 

This strapping’s special structure aids in its practicality. Wrapping it loosely can support almost any injury, including minor sprains. For compression purposes, you can wrap the tape as tight as you can manage.

What Is Cohesive Bandage Used For?

A person's arm is being wrapped with beige cohesive bandage on the wrist and around the lower forearm in front of a white background
Athletes and other professionals have been using cohesive bandages for a while now

The strapping itself can be stretched for up to twice its normal size. As a result, cohesive bandage is favoured among physiotherapists, athletes, and other professionals in the field of sports. It’s a particular favourite in football. 

Cohesive bandages have been used to hold up players’ shin pads and socks. It can be a fine alternative to regular PVC Sock Tape. Goalkeepers cover their fingers, wrists, and hands, and rugby players shield their ears with this protective tape. It can help you strap on your hot or cold packs in place as well.

What Are the Benefits of Cohesive Bandage?

A person is wrapping the arm of another person with blue cohesive bandages while on top of a table and in front of a light blue background
Cohesive bandages stay put, stretch, and so much more!

Inside and outside the court, cohesive bandages have a lot of advantages. From the way it stretches to how it sticks, here are the benefits you can get by using this very convenient athletic tape below:

Cohesive bandage is self-adhering

What’s cool about cohesive bandage is the way it sticks. In this case, this tape does not stick to your skin. Instead, its ingenious design makes it stick to itself. With its light layer of acrylic-based glue, you won’t need to worry about possibly tearing your skin or hair out.

Cohesive bandage stays put

Not to mention, once the cohesive bandage is on, it stays on. Usually, when a player sweats through a game, some tapes are already sliding off. Strapping like cohesive bandages will stick through the toughest training sessions, and even be sticky enough to be used again.

Cohesive bandage is hand-tearable

Unlike many other sports medicine tapes, you won’t need taper scissors when handling cohesive bandages. You can just use your hands. The tape can easily be torn into smaller pieces with just your fingers.

Cohesive bandage stretches (a lot)

The elastic material of cohesive bandages gives it the perfect amount of stretch. Athletic tapes are supposed to give the right amount of support and compression. For the optimum level of compression, simply adjust the strapping by stretching it to your desired tightness.

Cohesive bandage is adjustable

Cohesive bandages can be applied in a myriad of ways. The tape can be used on its own or as layers with other athletic tapes. The amount of layers you make with the cohesive bandage is proportional to the amount of support you might need. It can vary on the amount of compression as well, but with how taut you make the tape.

Cohesive bandages can be reused

Most athletic tapes and bandages can only be used one time. Once you’re done using the say KT tape, then you throw it out and get new ones. Cohesive bandages are different. Since the bandage sticks to you instead of on your skin, you won’t have any trouble sticking it on you again. You can reuse the bandages a couple of times after the first application.

What’s the Difference Between Cohesive Bandage and Kinesiology Tape?

A person is sitting down on the grass and wearing bright orange shorts while bandaging their knee with black cohesive bandage
Yes, cohesive bandage and KT tape are different from one another, and here’s why!

Speaking of kinesiology tape, it’s one of the sports medicine tapes known for its stretch, along with cohesive bandages. They both have an acrylic-based glue, though KT tape has more on its cotton-and-nylon-blend backing. Their differences don’t stop there. 

The heavy layer of glue on the kinesiology tape is rather strong. The tape will latch onto your skin ightly. And yes, it sticks to your skin instead of itself, unlike cohesive bandages. Hence, there’s a high chance that when you remove KT tape, it’ll pull out some hair when not done properly. The best way to remove kinesiology tapes, and other tapes without pulling on the hair and skin would be to use a tape removal spray, oil or even an alcohol spray. This page on removing tapes painlessly will explain further.

When it comes to purpose, they both do give out ample support but for varying reasons. Kinesiology tape provides support by reducing swelling in the muscles, particularly the joints, and relieving pain. It elevates the skin in the direction of the muscle itself, giving your aching joint some space to breathe. The tape also enhances an athlete’s performance.

Cohesive bandages offer support as well as compression. It mostly supports existing injuries so that they won’t get any worse and protects the dressings during rigorous activities. As for compression, it’s designed to give you all the give you need. 

How to Use Cohesive Bandage Properly

A person is using pink cohesive bandage to wrap their wrist and the palm of their hand
Follow these tips and you’ll be a cohesive bandage pro in no time

Using cohesive bandages for the first time? It does sound easy enough since it only sticks on itself and not on you. Still though, any person, physiotherapist or otherwise, will need to utilise some of these tips below. These small tidbits of information will surely make the taping process so much simpler:

  1. Disinfect and clean the affected area. Make sure to dry the skin before application. Dress any open wounds with another bandage like a wound or gauze pad
  2. Place the first part of the bandage on the skin. Using your non-dominant hand, hold that end of the tape in place. It’ll be easier to roll the bandage when you do. 
  3. Unfurl enough of the tape so that you can wrap it more easily. The first wrap should have little to no tension. 
  4. Try to overlap the strapping while you wrap the area, though not all the way. Keep unrolling the tape first before strapping the tape on. This way, you can control the amount of stretch you’ll need
  5. Constantly check if you have your desired tightness. It’s best to know if you need to modify your technique halfway instead of when you’re done. 
  6. Cut the cohesive bandage with your hands once you’re done wrapping it with the tape.
  7. Push down on the end of the tape. The added pressure will help stick the tape on itself, sealing the whole strapping in place.
  8. Take the tape off if it ends up too tight. A good indicator is this tingling or numbing sensation. Reapply the cohesive bandages. Only this time, adjust as you go.
  9. Call a medical professional if the pain persists after reapplying the tape. Get medical advice before you continue.

Where to Buy Cohesive Bandages?

A hand is wrapped in beige cohesive bandage while in front of a white background
If you want a reliable place to buy cohesive bandages, look no further than right here

Cohesive bandages are fairly easy to come by and very affordable. A single roll of the athletic tape will only be around AED 8.00-14.00. Several shops have them on hand, especially sports medicine and physiotherapy supply stores. 

Much like our store, Gulf Physio has a variety of sports tapes for any of your taping needs. For the full list of our in-stock bandages, including cohesive bandages and the like, click on this link here to look through our store.

When Do People Use Cohesive Bandage?

A person is wrapping blue cohesive bandage around a dog's leg for support
The uses of cohesive bandage goes beyond the field of sports medicine

Cohesive bandages are a lifesaver in the medical field, and not just in sports medicine. Healthcare professionals such as physiotherapists and orthopaedic physicians rely on cohesive bandages in their everyday practice. These practices include burn management, general wound care, and orthopaedics.

Nurses in each field attach various medical equipment like IV lines or monitors to patients’ skin using tape. Open wounds such as blisters, sores, and cuts need cohesive bandages to protect them while they heal. 

The strapping is ideal for sprains as well. A good example is ankle sprains which are the most prevalent injury in football and rugby. Apart from its medical uses, there are other ways you can use cohesive bandages. People can use them as:

  • A sweatband on your head
  • A sweat guard on clubs and rackets
  • A cover for new tattoos
  • A fun art project for the kids
  • A wrap for your pets’ injuries
  • A harness to calm your pets during stressful times

How Long Should You Leave on Cohesive Bandages?

A person is using white cohesive bandage to wrap the arm of another person while in front of a white background
Cohesive bandages last long, though don’t wear the same ones for a week

Cohesive bandages are made to last, and it shows. Still depending on the placement of the tape on your body, they could still last for days, even weeks. That doesn’t mean you should keep that specific layer of strapping for that long at a time. 

Whether the cohesive bandage is damaged, soiled, or otherwise, it’s best to replace it every once in a while. It should be done every one to two days. Changing the tape even when the tape looks clean is essential. It gives you a dry and clean start every time with new tape, lowering the risk of a possible infection occurring.

In Conclusion

Cohesive bandages are self-adhesive athletic tapes. This type of sports medicine tape is known for its stretchy material which contributes to its compression capabilities. It’s particularly utilised in the sports industry for its support for injuries such as hyperextensions and sprains. 

Athletes in sports such as football and rugby make use of this strapping during their games and even practice. Whether it replaces PVC sock tape or shields players’ ears in a rugby match, it’s a versatile piece of equipment. Other members such as goalkeepers have discovered how this tape can protect their hands and wrists. 

A tape like this stays put on your body since it’s self-adhering. The way it tears off easily by hand makes the application process effortless. Since it can stretch up to twice its original size, you can adjust it to how tight you need it to be. And after you use it, you can then reuse it for another wear or two. 

A cohesive bandage is fairly different from a kinesiology tape. For one, KT tape sticks on your skin and hair instead of on itself. They both give an ample amount of support but in rather contrasting ways. Flexible kinesio tape lifts the skin to let your joints breathe, giving a player more mobility. On the other hand, cohesive bandages get stiff to lessen movement. 

Applying the tape is simple enough, and completely customisable. The more you stretch the tape on the arm or leg, the more compression the tape will give. Seek the advice of a healthcare professional like a physiotherapist if you need any additional advice or help. 

Since medical staff in various industries use this tape for other injuries as well, cohesive bandages are low-cost. You can find them in any medical supply store, like on our website. Go and check out our other products to complete all your sports medicine supply needs. 

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