Every law enforcement trainer is concerned with injury mitigation, and treatment for those injuries sustained both on duty and during training.
As police trainers, we seek ways to maximize the effectiveness of the material we’re teaching to our cadets and in-service trainees. Lingering and annoying pain is detrimental to this mission, and often prevents our full participation in reality-based training.
Luckily, public safety personnel— especially the experienced and aging — are well familiar with traditional methods of pain management, including stretching, icing, and medication. Police personnel are now discovering what athletes have known for some time — the benefit of kinesiology taping.
No stranger to nagging injury, I was introduced to the folks at RockTape through mutual law enforcement friends. My first exposure to this recovery method came through meeting Steve Capobianco, D.C., of Symmetry Sports Therapy and Performance Care.
Dr. Capobianco serves as the medical director for RockTape, and as such performs instructional seminars worldwide. During our meeting, he sought to identify the root of the pain I was suffering, as opposed to applying treatment to the affected area.
Utilizing a series of balance, posture, and ergonomic tests, he was able to pinpoint a range of motion deficiency in my right foot. By applying kinesiology tape to this region, and leaving it in place for three days, I was able to detect noticeable pain relief.
Being skeptical in nature, I had to know why.
Dual Purpose Healing
Uniquely, RockTape can be used to apply compression and promote recovery, as well as for decompression to relieve pain and swelling. During my meeting with Dr. Capobianco, he applied the product over stretched muscle.
He explained that by doing so, the tape lifts the skin and accelerates blood flow to increase the amount of oxygen available to affected muscle, thereby reducing fatigue. When compared to traditional compression-only garments, RockTape is easily applied to hard to reach areas such as load-bearing joints.
Despite my initial introduction to this revolutionary style of pain management being a face-to-face meeting with a board-certified sport chiropractic physician, RockTape is easily self-applied. A simple glance at www.rocktape.com reveals application instructions in download format, videos demonstrating application, and for the motivated, a directory of certified trainers in your area can be found here.
Seeking opinions other than my own, I spoke with several other law enforcement professionals — as well as local martial arts instructors — who have used RockTape.
Common among all was the existence of repetitive-motion injuries incurred through training and exercise.
Troy Garr, one of the martial artists I spoke with, told me that he had attended a recent handgun training class with Dale of RockTape.
“I had seen the product on the market for about a year and also at the 2012 Olympic Games,” Garr said. “As a former high level athlete I was a bit skeptical, but it wouldn't hurt to try it. I told Dale about my shoulder that had been bothering me from lifting, and that it would make a popping sound when fully rotated in the joint. Right there on the range Dale RockTaped — and Rock Sauced — my shoulder for me. Immediately, the popping stopped and the support was apparent. I was shocked. I kept the shoulder taped for two more days and I am now sold on RockTape.”
Whether you’re demonstrating a draw stroke, performing defensive tactics repetitions, or participating in performance-based exercise, everyone with whom I spoke reported positive healing effects, diminished pain, and increased performance in the affected areas.
Whether used in conjunction with other treatment methods or as a standalone treatment, RockTape is certainly making an impression on the first responder community.
While certainly not a cure for all that ails — in fact, the product should be tested first in a small area to ensure skin compatibility with the adhesive — surveys have shown largely positive results for common aches and pains among we warrior athletes.