Sports Medicine Tapes & Bandages are used to help treat soft tissue injuries by supporting and compressing these structures. This support and compression reduces pain and allows the injured structures a chance to rest and recover. It also promotes better circulation and that in turn accelerates the healing process. In addition to treating injured soft tissues, some bandages are useful for fixation of primary wound bandages.
One of the primary ways to classify tapes and bandages is by whether they can attach both to the skin and to each other, or only to each other. Sports medicine tapes & bandages that attach to the skin as well as to each other are adhesive tapes. Those that attach only to each other are cohesive tapes.
Adhesive tapes can in general provide higher levels of support and compression. However, they can also cause skin reactions as a result of the type of adhesive used. This does not apply however to sports medicine tapes and bandages that use hypoallergenic and/or latex free adhesive.
Cohesive tapes can provide impressive levels of support and cohesion but in general are less supportive than the most powerful adhesive tapes. They do eliminate the use of adhesive, however, and with it the risk of adverse skin reactions caused by certain adhesives. In addition, you can remove these medical tapes and bandages without damaging the skin or skin hair. This is a particular advantage when these tapes and bandages are used on animals (which have fur). Cohesive tapes and bandages also have the advantage of being reusable and therefore more cost effective, other things being equal.