How To Use KT Tape For Runner’s Knee

KT Tape On Runners Knee

When suffering from symptoms of a runner’s knee, also known as chonrdomalaica patellae, you want both quick and lasting relief. Kinesiology tape is one of many great tools to help you get pain relief while also boosting your knee mechanics to help prevent future issues. Let’s dive into how KT tape can help you effectively manage knee pain and what techniques you can utilize to get started.

Runner’s Knee and KT Tape

Whether you run on the trails or a treadmill, symptoms of runner’s knee are most often caused by overuse of the patella, also known as the kneecap. This usually results in painful knee flexion, weight bearing, local swelling, and potential clicking around the kneecap. There are many potential underlying issues related to muscle strength, knee alignment, and running mechanics that can be the cause of this common problem.

Treatment usually involves a combination of rest, pain management, and starting appropriate exercises for promoting balance and better mechanics in the lower leg.

KT tape can be a great adjunct to effectively managing a runner’s knee. Potential benefits of taping include pain relief, reduced swelling, improved running mechanics secondary to increased sensory input and decreased strain on the patellar tendon to allow healing.

Techniques to Try for Runner’s Knee

The goal of applying kinesio tape to the knee is to provide support and relief to the painful area. With a runner’s knee, this usually involves the kneecap itself and the tendon just below it. Thus, two primary taping techniques provide the best outcomes to these areas.

Diagonal Taping

Take to precut strips or cut two strips crossing the knee joint from approximately 2 to 3 inches below the knee joint to 5 to 6 inches above the knee. You will essentially create an “X” with your tape just below the knee cap when the knee is relaxed and slightly bent.

This provides excellent proprioceptive feedback to your knee while helping support and adequately track the kneecap. (For a video demo, look here.)

Horizontal Taping

There are often very tender spots in the patellar tendon itself, the thick band of tissue below the kneecap. This simple technique gently lifts the tissues of the painful area to promote circulation, healing and provide a little support.

After you pinpoint the sore spot in your tendon, place a horizontal strip across this area for the best results.

Troubleshooting Your KT Tape Application

If you’ve never used KT tape before, it can feel a little overwhelming at first. Watching how-to videos online is a great place to start. Additionally, it may be worth seeking guidance from a licensed professional like a physical therapist.

Plus, they can give you other invaluable tips for recovering from your knee injury. Outside of that, keep a few of these practical tips in mind to maximize the use of kinesiology tape:

  • Ensure the area you are applying tape to is clean- hair is okay if it’s not too thick or long.
  • If your tape is not precut, make sure you round the edges of your tape to prevent catching on clothing.
  • Never apply stretch to the ends of the tape, as this will reduce its longevity and increase skin irritation.
  • Since KT tape has innate stretch in it, you should start by laying the tape on the skin with no stretch and see how it feels- you can always add more stretch later as needed.
  • You can keep KT tape on, even after showering, for up to three days.
  • Remove KT tape immediately (but slowly) if you experience any symptoms of irritation like a rash, redness, itching, or swelling.
  • Adjust and experiment with your taping technique as needed to maximize your comfort and specific needs.
  • Don’t let runner’s knee keep you from your running goals. KT tape may be one option that helps you get back on track faster. That way, you can get back to your favorite treadmill, trail, or track field and keep crushing your running routine!

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