>Health and Nutrition>Kinesio Taping for patellar tracking?
I have been dealing with patellar tendinosis for over a year and am currently training for my next marathon.
I do a variety of PT to manage the condition and normally wear a strap when I run. In watching the 2012 Olympics, I see the frequent use of kinesio taping for a variety of things. I was wondering if anyone else uses it for this or any other condition? And if so, what their experience was/is with using it?
In "Googling" I do see that some people utilizing it for patellar tracking issues with instructions on how to apply it. The links to a variety of studies I see on Wikipedia seem to indicate the science is still not clear if this stuff has any real benefit. Looking at the various videos, I am inclined to believe it probably isn't really much different than wearing the patella strap I use now and the tape is just helping apply a subtle pressure to the impacted area to restrict movement like any other brace might. So before wasting money on the latest fad, figured I might inquire here.
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I happen to be a close friend of the inventor and his son. I absolutely swear by this product and I've been using it since 1989. The concept, just in case if you didn't know, is VERY different from strap tape or any other taping method that restricts movement (which is conventional taping method). I have used it for Plantar Fasciitis, shin splint, sciatica... I even saw a guy use this for a cracked rib cage! (I don't know how effective that was...).
There are however 2 different kinds of tapes--one is a US company, KT tape, and the other is the original Kinesio Tape. The latter is slightly more expensive but it works better I feel... I'm heading out of town right now but if you're interested, I can scan the page for a knee problem and send it to you (though the best results come from having a certified PT to apply it for you) next week. They have clinics and certification programs because it's best used by a trained therapist. I can do it myself and works maybe 3 out of 4 times but not 100%.
My knee blew up earlier this year -- a patellar tracking issue. Too much hard downhill training, and I was also over-striding. My PT said I might also have a muscle imbalance (VMO) but I'm not so sure about how much impact that had.
Anyway, he taught me how to do McConnell taping. (Google it, you'll see lots of instructional videos.) I got instant results. The day before, my knee blew up after a couple of miles -- agonizing pain. The day after I started taping, I did a 6-mile tempo run completely pain free.
I taped my knee before every run for about four weeks, then stopped. I've been fine since then, since I also addressed the underlying issues.
From what I understand, Kinesio taping is a different thing, involving specific products? I don't know what that stuff costs, but the supplies I needed for the McConnell taping were very inexpensive: some adhesive spray, Fixomull (hypoallergenic base tape) and garden variety, 38mm sports tape.
I also understand that there's some controversy regarding why the McConnell technique works. I get that -- there are lots of different reasons why a knee can go bad. But it sure worked for me.
One other word of advice: shave your knee before you start taping it. Words can't describe how much that hurt.
Anyone want to describe in a nutshell how Kinesio or McConnell taping work their magic? Just trying to dispell a bit of my ignorance.
Well at least someone here is making relevance to the subject. - S.J.
McConnell is pretty straightforward. You use the tape to pull the patella inward and keep it there. This realigns it away from the source of the irritation.
The taping is also supposed to help with activation of the VMO muscle, assuming a muscle imbalance is one of the reasons why the patella isn't tracking correctly.
Here's a link with more info:
Thanks Nobby & mstuartm...
I am doing PT to address a muscle imbalance and find if I keep with my PT I can manage the symptoms, but during the marathon training cycles the additional mileage is a stresser. ( I also have a long history of over striding, heavy heel striking that contributes as well and working to correct.)
I think I will try both with some caution on easier days. I very much would like to try and wean myself off of using the patella strap I have been relying on in my daily workouts. I don't want it to become a lifetime crutch.
It was noted above...
"The McConnell is pretty straightforward. You use the tape to pull the patella inward and keep it there. This realigns it away from the source of the irritation." Which is pretty much what the strap does but without the initial pull or the strap is pretty much acting to reduce the pulling/sliding of the tendon to prevent more irritation. Interestingly enough, the link you provided also noted to try and wean yourself from having to do so.
Nobby earlier noted..
The concept, just in case if you didn't know, is VERY different from strap tape or any other taping method that restricts movement (which is conventional taping method).
Which I find interesting and may allow for a more normal or perhaps natural movement of the various tendons and act as bridge to weaning off of the straps and more restrictive taping methods.
Thanks for the input.
*disclaimer: i do not know anyone who uses kinesio taping, and i have only done it twice. *
My PT showed me how to tape a patellar sling with kinesio tape. I've only tried it a couple times, but my experience is that it is an immediate relief of pain and the tape can be left on for 3-5 days. It made derby practice and running MUCH more comfortable.
The flipside of my personal experience is that removal of the tape was an instant return of the pain. Not any worse than before the tape was applied, but definitely not any better.
IMHO, the taping did nothing to improve healing per se or treat the underlying cause of the knee pain. But, it did help to manage the pain so that I could continue training.
Side note: the adhesive is activated by heat. If you try using it, I do not recommend trying to remove it right after a shower or anything like that because the adhesive will be very strong and you may lose some skin. I had the best luck with icing the tape before peeling it off.
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