If you are wondering what KT tape is (aka kinesiology tape), all you have to do is go to YouTube and look for videos on Olympic beach volleyball. You will notice that a lot of the Olympic players have strips of colorful tape all over their body (shoulders, knee, hamstring, etc.). So can you use KT tape for knee pain as well? Keep reading to find out.
There is a wide variety of KT tape manufacturers around these days however the main thing you need to be aware of are the types of KT tape you can buy. First you have the original/regular version which is made up of reinforced 100% cotton sheathes. The second is the professional grade of KT tape which is specially engineered, ultra-durable synthetic fabric. Both versions are designed to provide stable support without restricting motion, however the Pro version normally provides stronger adhesion and generally lasts longer, so you can wear it longer than the regular tape.
What’s great about KT tape is that it comes pre-cut, so it makes it fast and easy to apply to any body part. The only downside is that when you are first getting used to it, it may take you 3-4 tries before you get it right and start feeling the benefits. This is because it has to be applied in a specific way (depending on the issue or body part involved). I will cover that a bit later.
KT tape is used to handle and ward off hundreds of common injuries such as shin splints, tennis elbow, shoulder instability, ankle instability, etc. However, since my site focuses on the knee, I’m going to stick with the benefit that we care about, which is knee pain relief.
There are a number of reasons why you might be feeling pain in one or both of your knees. You may have a slight case of arthritis, you may have a kneecap (patella) that isn’t moving as well as it should, or possibly a torn or inflamed meniscus. As you hopefully know by now, I always recommend that my readers seek medical advice if they are experiencing any sort of pain. The main purpose of this article was to let you know what alternatives are out there for you, and KT tape may be one of them.
Tips For Using KT Tape For Knee Pain
I’ll start by giving you a few tips and then I’ll share a video I found which should help you when you start applying it for the first time.
TIP 1 – It is recommended that you start the process at least half an hour before doing physical activities.
TIP 2 – Make sure the skin is completely dry and as clean as possible. It’s important to get rid of all lotions/oils (suntan lotion, skin cream, etc). If you find that the KT tape is not staying on properly, try cleaning the area with rubbing alcohol before applying the tape.
TIP 3 – If you have to apply the tape on a joint, make sure it is in the bent position before applying the tape. If you try to place the tape over your knee when it is in the extended position, the tape will pull off once you start moving.
TIP 4 – Do not stretch the ends of the tapes. The ends of the tape need to be applied directly to the affected area without stretching them, or else they will not stick.
KT Tape Video Demonstration
Here’s the video that I promised, which will show you how to apply the tape to your knee:
Can you use KT tape for knee pain? The answer is yes. If you are wondering if you should use it instead of a knee brace, well that depends on the amount of stability you need. If you are recovering from an ACL replacement surgery and want to get back into playing football, a brace will definitely be more suited for you. However, for more minor injuries, KT tape could be the way to go. It really comes down to how safe you want to feel and the history/root cause behind your pain. Always consult a doctor before trying anything new!
Note about who should and shouldn’t wear KT tape – Most of the documentation that comes with KT tape will mention the fact that it should not be used by someone who has been diagnosed with cancer (depending on the person’s situation, it may interfere with treatment) as well as women who are pregnant.