Guide to the best Cohesive Bandages
What are Cohesive bandages?
“The state of sticking together” is the dictionary definition of cohesive, and cohesive tapes are generally characterised by the fact that the fabric sticks to itself but not to the skin. Effectively it is an elasticated, non adhesive, tearable stretch bandage which has a wrinkled appearance like elephant skin, and the corrugation of the crinkles adhere to each other a bit like Velcro. The fabric may vary from the woven cotton mix tapes that are used as sports tapes to provide compression to the lighter Vet Wrap style non woven materials that tend to be used as sock tape or in the veterinary field to secure protective dressings.
In sport, cohesive tapes are extremely useful for quickly applying support and compression to a joint or soft tissue injury. They are hand-tearable so first-aid can be administered on the pitch and players can re-start playing in seconds.
What Cohesive bandages do I need?
Like all sports tapes the choice of cohesive bandages is personal and dependent on the applications. Physios working in cricket for example have always had a preference for Coban, while many rugby players prefer the softer cotton rich tapes such as Tensoplus. As always, for quality and value Vivorip from the Vivomed collection of tapes would be the cohesive bandage of choice for all applications. It has been designed and manufactured in the style of Mueller M-Lastic and is a great tape for sport.
The lighter non woven style of cohesive tapes are often used in the veterinary market where the multi-coloured market leader Vetwrap is often seen protecting the paws of a pet cat or dog. In sport, however they are used as sock tape to keep shin guards in place and to prevent the socks from falling down.
Popular in American Football (NFL) is the combination of Powerflex and Powertape. This is used in the same way European sports medics would use an underwrap and an Elastic Adhesive Bandage EAB to secure ankles etc. The advantage of the Powerflex and Powertape combination is that there is no adhesive used (the 2 cohesive tapes stick to each other and not the skin) meaning it provides a stronger support in hot/sweaty sporting environments or in wet sporting events such as swimming.
How to use a Cohesive bandages
Cohesive tapes tend to be used in first aid situations where it is necessary to quickly apply compression and support to soft tissue injuries. In a way, they are a modern version of the crepe bandage, and as such are invaluable in sport. They can be torn easily in both directions, and when applied each layer of the bandage sticks to the layer underneath, but not to the skin. Excellent characteristics for quick application to a simple ankle sprain or wrist injury. They can be removed, washed and re-used if required. Leading sports medicine company Mueller also market their brand M-Lastic as a “Blood Spill” tape, as in addition to its compression properties, it is also useful for absorbing blood.
They should be included in all sports first aid kits.
For further information on using cohesive bandages for sports taping, please see this guide by the manufactures of Powerflex and Powertape.