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What Is KT TAPE?

What is KT Tape and how does it work? It’s easier than you think. These questions and more are answered in this 90 second video.

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Instructions

General Instructions

Healthcare professionals have been teaching patients for years how to apply kinesiology tape themselves. Don’t be afraid to jump in and just go for it the first time you try and tape youself. It generally takes 3 or 4 times to get comfortable with taping before you’ll be taping like the pro’s.

Leg Applications

Calf

The calf muscles are made up of two muscles. The gastrocnemius is the larger muscle and visible on the back of the leg. The soleus is a smaller and wider muscle lower down on the leg and mostly under the gastrocnemius. Each has a lateral head and medial head – two halves. Both attach near the back of the knee and to the heel via the Achilles tendon. These muscles are responsible for extending the foot as in the push-off phase of running.

Gluteus

The gluteus muscles are the three main muscles that make up the buttocks. These muscles rotate the hip to the outside, extend the trunk of the body, and perform movements such as the squat and lunge. The gluteus muscles’ role in extending the legs is extended to stabilizing our core as we stand or move and providing a cushion as we sit. Various conditions can cause pain, and this KT Tape application can help to provide relief from it.

Groin

A groin strain is an injury to the adductor muscles that bring the leg back towards the body. Less severe strains pull the muscle beyond their normal range of motion and create incomplete micro-tears. More severe strains tear the muscle fibers in total and can even cause a complete tear of the muscle.

Hamstrings

The hamstrings are the large set of powerful muscles that span the back of the thigh from the buttocks to the calves and serve to flex the knee and extend the hip. Strains involving micro-tears in the muscles, cramping, and tightness can be felt when the hamstrings are injured or not performing properly. These injuries often heal very slowly and put the individual at risk for recurring injuries if not treated properly.

Hip Flexor

Hip flexor pain is a relatively uncommon injury to the front of the hip that is more predominant in younger adults and females. However uncommon it may be, when one suffers from a hip flexor injury or strain, it can be very painful. The hip flexor muscles consist of the psoas major and minor and the iliacus muscles. They are often referred to as a group by the term “iliopsoas muscles”. These muscles serve to flex the thigh and pull the knee upward.

IT Band Hip

The IT Band, or iliotibial band, is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs down the outside of the leg. The iliotibial band begins at the hip and extends to the outer side of the shin (tibia) just below the outside of the knee joint. The band functions in coordination with several of the thigh muscles to provide stability to the outside of the knee.

Posterior Shin Splints

The shin is the common name for the front of the lower leg bone (tibia) and its associated muscles and tendons. While muscles on the front of the leg (primarily the anterior tibialis) serve to point the toes and foot upwards (dorsiflexion), the tibialis posterior serves to point the toes and foot downwards (plantarflexion).

Quad

The quads are the large set of powerful muscles that span the front of the thigh from the hips to the knees and act as hip flexors and knee extenders. The quads consist of 4 muscles: rectus femoris, vastus lateralis, vastus medialis, and vastus interomedialis. Strains involving microtears in these muscles, cramping, and tightness can be felt when the quads are injured or not performing properly. The rectus femoris is the most commonly injured portion of the muscle because of its anterior location.

Shin Splints

The shin is the common name for the front of the lower leg bone (tibia) and its associated muscles and tendons. While the tibialis posterior serves to point the toes and foot downwards (plantarflexion), muscles on the front of the leg (primarily the anterior tibialis) serve to point the toes and foot upwards (dorsiflexion).

Knee Applications

Back of Knee

Pain at the back of the knee can be caused by many issues including hamstring tendonitis, a baker’s cyst, popliteal tendonitis, and other conditions causing swelling or inflammation.

Full Knee Support

Knee pain can be caused by any number of issues. The kneecap, or patella, could be moving incorrectly. One or more meniscus may be torn, ruptured, or inflamed. There may be arthritis, plica, chrondomalacia, or any number of issues with the bones that constitute the knee. The beauty of this application is the breadth of conditions it covers with it’s relatively simple effects of balancing the muscles effect on the knee and relieving pressure on the kneecap and its tendon.

Inner Knee

The Pes Anserine (goose’s foot) is the joining of three tendons on the front and inside portion of the lower knee area. The bursae in this area allow for smooth sliding of these tendons with the medial hamstrings and the medial collateral ligament. The bursae will often become inflamed during periods of overuse and cause mild to moderate pain. The three muscles (Sartorius, Gracilis, and Semitendinosus) whose tendons insert into this area all serve to flex the knee and affect hip position.

Osgood Schlatter

Osgood-Schlatter’s is a condition that often times shows up in young people who are growing very quickly. The point of pain is typically on the tibial tuberosity, or the bump just below the knee.

Outer Knee

ITBS is the most prevalent cause of lateral (outside) knee pain in athletes. Along with ITBS pain at the hip, it accounts for more than 12% of all running injuries. Chances are that if you have pain on the outside of the knee and are active, or have had a rapid increase in activity, you are suffering from issues involving the IT Band at the knee. The IT Band is responsible for moving the leg away from the body, internal rotation of hip, knee extension, and knee flexion (under particular conditions).

Ankle/Foot Applications

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendon is the largest tendon in the body. It connects the calf muscles to the heel and is active during almost all activities including walking, jumping, and swimming. This dense tendon can withstand large forces, but can become inflamed and painful during periods of overuse. Pain results from inflammation (tendonitis) or a degenerating tendon (tendinosis).

Ankle Stability

This application can be used for a variety of ankle issues including ankle sprains, stretched ligaments, inflamed tendons, or general ankle weakness. The added support will give you the confidence and support during the rehabilitation phase of an injury as well as the stability and pain relief during activity.

Ball of Foot

The ball of the foot is where the toes join the rest of the foot. The area is very muscular and is the site where many athletes put the majority of the pressure during performance. Impact can be intense, twisting on the area is common, and without sufficient rest the area can become very worn and painful. Many smaller muscles, bones, ligaments, and tendons, and nerves all converge here as well. These very sensitive and flexible parts at the ball of the foot are highly responsible for balance and acceleration.

Bunion

A bunion, also known as hallux valgus, results when the big toe points towards the second toe and results in inflammation of the tissue surrounding the joint. The inflammation causes the joint to become swollen and tender, making everyday activities like walking or jogging very painful.

Heel

The heel is obviously a very important part of our lives. It takes a great deal of repetitive force with every step and can become susceptible to injury and pain as those steps become forceful. The pain can linger for many years and end up causing many other problems if not treated correctly. This KT Tape application can not only relieve the pain you feel, but help you to avoid the compensation injuries that arise from walking around on a painful heel.

Outer Knee

ITBS is the most prevalent cause of lateral (outside) knee pain in athletes. Along with ITBS pain at the hip, it accounts for more than 12% of all running injuries. Chances are that if you have pain on the outside of the knee and are active, or have had a rapid increase in activity, you are suffering from issues involving the IT Band at the knee. The IT Band is responsible for moving the leg away from the body, internal rotation of hip, knee extension, and knee flexion (under particular conditions).

Peroneal Tendonitis

The three peroneal muscles, now called the fibularis muscles, are muscles at the surface of the outside of the lower leg. They serve to turn the foot out (evert) and push the foot down (plantarflex). The tendons run behind the anklebone and connect the muscles to the boney structures of the foot and ankle.

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia, or arch tendon, is a thick band of connective tissue that runs from the heel to the front of the foot. It is made of three distinct parts: medial, central, and lateral bands. The central band is the thickest and strongest and is the portion most likely involved in plantar fasciitis pain.

Top of Foot

The top of the foot consists of many bones, nerves, ligaments, and tendons that can all be affected and painful. The foot was made for stability and mobility – two distinct and naturally exclusive functions. This demand on the foot necessitates many different “pieces” to accomplish its role in movement. Most all activity of our daily lives and our athletic lives puts significant strain on the feet and can lead to different injuries.

Turf Toe

Turf Toe, a sprain of the metatarsophalangeal joint, is a condition that results from acute or chronic hyperextension of the big toe. The condition affects both the joint and the connective tissue resulting in painful inflammation and bruising. Often times the ligaments and tendons are stretched, and in severe cases torn. Greater risk occurs when one wears flexible footwear meant to grab the running surface, such as soccer cleats, or if one has greater than normal range of motion in the ankle.

Trunk/Back Applications

Abdominals

Abdominal pain has many causes ranging from issues within the abdominal cavity itself, to tears or pains in the muscular structure surrounding the organs of the abdominal cavity.

Low Back

Pain in the low back, or lumbago, can be a very complicated problem. As the body ages, the spine undergoes compensatory changes to adjust with the rest of the body. Some of those changes are for the good, but some of those changes can cause pain and problems in human function.

Middle Back

The middle back is a combination of vertebrae from the upper and middle sections of the back and muscles that run the entire length of the back. These muscles support the spine, flex and extend the torso, move the upper limbs and head, as well as function to keep your body in an upright position.

Ribs

The ribs are the individual bones that form the rib cage. The rib cage serves to protect the vital organs such as the lungs and the heart. The rib cage spans from the neck to near the hips and is made of hard bone tissue for protection, but pieced together by flexible cartilage to allow for expansion of the lungs for breathing.

SI Joint

Low back pain is often caused by complications arising from the SI Joint. Though the SI Joint is not the singular cause of low back pain, attention to the joint is important in assessing and treating the pain. Athletes from all sports and people from all walks of like experience problems with the SI Joint due to its pivotal position in the body.

Spine

Disc pain can be caused by any number of conditions that affect the vital components of the spine. Discs can herniate and swell, slip away from their correct positioning between the bony vertebrae, or rupture. These issues cause pressure on the many nerves that leave the spine and make the simplest activities very painful.

Arm/Hand Applications

Bicep

The bicep muscles and tendons run along the front of your arm and to the front of the shoulder. These muscles are responsible for “curling” motions and raising your arm in front of you.

Finger Jam

“Jammed Finger” is a term that refers to the many injuries of the ligaments and soft tissue around the small joints of the fingers. Jammed fingers are very common in ball handling sports or activities where there is a high degree of catching objects.

General Elbow

The elbow consists of three bones coming together at a junction, as well as the muscles that serve to flex, extend, and rotate the arm. The elbow also consists of ligaments that hold these bones in place, tendons that attach muscles to bones, cartilage that allows for smooth movement of the bones at their joints, and nerves that provide functionality to the arm. Each of these different parts can become irritated or strained resulting in pain.

Golfers Elbow

Golfer’s elbow, or medial epicondylitis, is a common overuse injury of the inside portion of the elbow. The condition is similar to tendonitis and results in inflammation of the tendons as they attach to the bony protrusion of the inside elbow.

Tennis Elbow

Tennis Elbow is the common name describing the condition Lateral Epicondylitis, or inflammation of the outside portion of the elbow resulting in soreness and tenderness. Though, recent research has shown that the condition is not as much inflammatory as it is degenerative (microscopic injury to the tendon). The elbow is the obvious juncture between the shoulder (the rest of the body for that matter) and the hand.

Thumb

Thumb pain usually presents as pain at the base of the thumb and wrist. A notable thumb pain condition includes De Quervain Syndrome, also known by many other names such as gamer’s thumb, mother’s wrist, and mommy thumb. This condition in particular is a degenerative (microscopic injury) condition of the sheath (extensor retinaculum) that surrounds the tendons passing over the thumb side of the wrist. These tendons control the motions of the thumb, most specifically the movement of thumb towards the wrist.

Tricep

This article will make a distinction between tricep muscle pain/weakness and tricep tendonitis. The tricep pain application is for tricep muscle pain and weakness. For the tricep tendonitis application, please visit the KT Tape website and forum.

Wrist

The wrist is made up of eight small bones (carpals) that support a narrow passage called the carpal tunnel. The carpal tunnel, supported by a ligament, carries through it the tendons that control the motions of the hand and fingers as well as the nerve that causes such great pain in the condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. The wrist primarily is designed to provide range of motion and versatility, but is built in a way to provide stability as well.

Neck/Shoulder Applications

AC Joint

AC (acromioclavicular) Joint injuries are common in contact sports or accidents wherein a collision with the tip of the shoulder occurs. In fact, they are the most common reason an athlete seeks medical attention following a shoulder injury.

General Shoulder

The shoulder is a complex and relatively unstable joint that every person uses extensively on a daily basis. There are many muscles and forces that act on the shoulder, and when any of these is overactive or underactive, problems can arise.

Neck And Shoulder

The neck is clearly a vital component of our anatomy due to its responsibility for connecting our brain to the rest of the body. Everything that passes through the neck is vital and relies heavily on proper function of the musculoskeletal system to protect and support these structures.

Rotator Cuff

The rotator cuff is the group of muscles and their tendons that act to stabilize the shoulder. These muscles are relatively small, yet are extremely important in all shoulder movements. They start at the shoulder blade and connect to the upper arm in a fashion that forms a “cuff” to provide the needed stability and mechanics of the shoulder.

Shoulder Stability

The shoulder is an inherently unstable joint, yet very important for almost all of life’s activities. The shoulder complex consists of many muscles, ligaments, tendons, bone, bursae, cartilage, and other anatomical components. Shoulder instability, or the resultant pain, can be a major problem on its own. Additionally, poor shoulder movement or placement can cause many other problems in the neck, spine, and chest – as well as the entire body.