Fingers: Taping Truths

I found a study comparing various taping methods for pulley injuries. It mentions the H taping method as the best. What is the H method?

By Rock and Ice | January 28th, 2010

I found a study comparing various taping methods for pulley injuries. It mentions the H taping method as the best. What is the H method?

WILCOX510 | Rock and Ice Forum

Let’s keep it real — taping does virtually nothing except protect wounds. I read the research paper that introduces H taping and it is, for the most part, quite sensible in its recommendations. Unfortunately, most people have not read it and, once the expert at the crag demonstrates this fantastical method, the Cycle of Ignorance is set in motion. Before you can utter, I’m a silly git, climbers are taping simply because they have pulleys.

Two groups will benefit from this method (similar to crossing tape over the front of the joint, though it uses a single piece of divided tape) and they are at opposite ends of the spectrum: those who have ruptured a pulley, and those who have the mildest of strains combined with a pathological lack of restraint.

If you have a ruptured pulley, there may be some minor strength gains for one pull. Tape, however, loosens fast! By the time you reach the top of your 100-foot grunt, the protective function will have eroded somewhere between a lot and more than a lot. And right when you are pulling harder than a husky on speed whammo!

The best taping method is the one that totally unloads the injured pulley and allows you to crimp while it recovers. Someone please tell me what that is. Though statistically significant, the reduction in tendon excursion (or pulley stretch) while crimping is only marginal (as opposed to not at all for other methods). Who knows how this actually affects pulley load. The A3, more than any other pulley, is quite elastic.

H taping has no effect when you are open handed because the pulley is barely loaded. You want your pulley to recover? Stop crimping! Simple.

Bowstringing of the tendon is reduced by 13 percent using H taping, according to this study alone. What if you are bowstringing an extra 30 percent because of a strained pulley? It’s a subterfuge. You are still well in the red and the next stop is pulley bankruptcy. Though dog poop with whipped cream will slip down a little easier, it still tastes like dog poop. Similarly, this method will help, but unless you have the mildest of strains, that dog poop will choke you.




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