If you are a sports fan, chances are you’ve seen these brightly colored tapes plastered on your favorite sportsperson’s body. Springing into the spotlight during the 2008 Beijing Olympics, kinesiology tape has since gained popularity among different athletes - volleyball players, soccer stars, professional cyclists, and even among runners.
Table of Contents:
- Does KT Tape prevent injury?
- What are the possible injuries you will experience in running?
- How do you apply Kinesiology tape to runner's knee?
- How do you use KT Tape for Achilles tendonitis?
- How do you tape a sprained ankle with kinesiology tape?
- How do you apply kinesiology tape to shin splints?
- How do you use kinesiology tape for plantar fasciitis?
- Does KT Tape heal injuries?
Designed by Dr. Kenzo Kase, a Japanese chiropractor in the 1970s, these sticky tools are meant to deliver support, prevent injuries while alleviating pain for your muscles. These tapes create spaces between the skin and the muscle below. By doing this, the tapes help decrease the pressure in the area, which then relieves pain. If you want to know all the benefits of Kinesiology taping, you can read the long list here.
In this article, we want to take a look at some facts the runners ought to know about kinesiology tapes and how taping can serve runners for their daily sprints.
Can K-Tape Help Prevent Injuries for Runners?
According to this study of professional dancers, they've found that Kinesiology taping can help reduce muscle spasms while aiding to rebuild muscle strength for injured areas. The findings also indicate that taping improves balance, regulates muscle tone, and some have experienced an ease in pain because it enhances proprioception. Note that relieving pain cannot be guaranteed, however, the tape will support injuries making your life much more comfortable.
It is important to note that kinesiology tape needs a proper application for its benefits to take effect. There are hundreds of resources on the internet that you can look up for kin taping. It also helps to talk to your therapist to get more personalized information on how to properly apply these strips.
Kinesiology Taping for Common Running Injuries
Injuries can be an inevitable part of an active lifestyle - and runners are not exempt from this. Many runners have now incorporated kinesiology taping to aid the injuries that they’ve gotten from their daily runs or even marathons.
While there have been mixed opinions and studies about the effectiveness of k-tapes, numerous sportspeople swear by them. You can give k-tapes a try to see how it works for you! The great thing about Kinesiology taping is that it does not have any inherent risks. The worst-case scenario when taping is finding out that it does not work for you.
Here's how to tape some of the common running injuries. If you're a newbie in taping, here are some tips to take note of and things to prepare beforehand.
Runner’s knee, also called Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, is general pain felt in one or both knees. It can be caused by several factors that include overuse, misalignment of the bones, a blow to the knee, or even foot problems.
This study looked at the effects of kinesiology taping for patients experiencing runner's knee.
Below are the steps that you can follow on how to tape for runner's knee. And, here's a video demonstration that you can follow, as well.
- Apply the compression strip to the area of pain at 50% stretch.
- Get another strip. Apply it from the top of the shin to the bottom of the thigh without any stretch.
- With another strip, perform the same thing from the opposite side without any stretch, as well.
Achilles tendinitis often results from the overuse of the Achilles tendon. (It is the tendon that connects the calf muscles at the back of the lower leg to the heel bone) This injury comes with a sudden increase in the intensity and duration of your runs.
You can follow the steps below on how to tape for Achilles Tendinitis. And, here's a video presentation on it, as well.
- Prepare two pieces of tape, a long and a short one. Using the long piece, anchor it underneath the heel bone. Then, from the back of the calcaneus, add a 25% stretch on the tape until the mid-calf. Release the anchor without tension. Make sure to squeeze the tape on the edges for good adherence.
- Squeeze your Achilles to find the most painful part. Get a shorter piece of tape and apply it across the injured part of the area with a 50% stretch.
An ankle sprain results when you tear or stretch the ligaments that hold your ankle together when you twist, roll, or awkwardly turn your ankle. Depending on how severe your injury is, an ankle sprain brings pain, tenderness, swelling, bruising, a limited range of motion, and instability.
Follow the steps below to apply kin tape for your ankle sprain. Here's a video demonstration, as well.
- Start with a compression strip on the painful part of the ankle.
- With another strip (stabilization strip), anchor it on top of the foot. Let it travel along the entire outside of the lower leg.
Shin splints (aka tibial stress syndrome) is pain felt along the inner shin or the front of the leg. This injury is common among runners, dancers, and folks from the military. Its symptoms include soreness, tenderness, or pain in the inner side of the shin bone. It also shows swelling in the lower leg. It’s caused by overuse, change in running surfaces, increase in activity, or even poorly fitted shoes.
If you're experiencing this type of injury, here's how to apply kinesiology tape in the area.
- Prepare three strips, with two half-strips. Anchor your first strip with no stretch just below your ankle. Then, apply a bit of stretch on the rest of the tape and smooth it down on the area of pain.
- Next, take the half strip and anchor the strip just above your pain point. Then, lay the middle of the strip across the shin. Finish the strip with no stretch.
- Repeat the second step, and apply the tape just below the second strip.
Plantar fasciitis is the swelling of the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain. This injury is not just noticeable among runners but for people who are overweight.
Are you experiencing plantar fasciitis? Here are the taping steps that you can follow to use kinesiology tape in the area.
- Prepare three pieces of tape. If you have pre-cut ones - it will be great for these.
- Start by flexing your foot by pointing your toes up. With the first strip, anchor it to the ball of your foot. Then, give the rest of the tape a 50% stretch and apply the tape along the bottom of the foot up until the back of the heel.
- Next, anchor the second strip above the inside of the ankle. Give the middle of the strip a 50% stretch and apply it to the bottom of the heel.
- Then, anchor the third strip behind the first strip and apply a 50% stretch to the rest of the tape. Apply across the arch and lay the end of the tape with 0% stretch.
Can Kinesiology Taping Help in Recovering from Running Injuries?
Kinesiology tape has been widely used to help with recovery. However, it is not proven that it will speed up recovery. When applied, the tape helps in the removal of lactic acid to promote better fluid circulation for the affected area. Different athletes and of course runners can take advantage of this, too.
From providing support, aiding in running injuries, and even helping for a faster recovery, runners can count on kinesiology for their running needs. If you're looking to incorporate kin taping into your active lifestyle, check Tape Geeks' shop for all the taping tools that you'll ever need.