Skip navigation

5684 Views 1 Reply Latest reply: Oct 4, 2010 5:36 AM by JamesJohnsonLMT
kimc921 Pro 108 posts since
Apr 15, 2009
Currently Being Moderated

Oct 2, 2010 8:29 PM

Kinesio tape -- does it work?

After searching through the community for this topic I didn't find anything recent, so here goes.  Has anyone had any noticeable success with kinesio taping?  I have IT band issues in my hip and was wondering if it's worth trying.


YouTube has quite a few instructional videos on how to apply it, so that would be a big help.  Before my run today I used some coaches tape to just try the method and my hip didn't hurt as I ran, so maybe it isn't smoke and mirrors?


Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.  First half coming up next Sunday!

"Success isn't how far you got, but the distance you traveled from where you started."

       -- Steve Prefontaine

One more breath, one more step, one more mile, FINISH LINE!

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

  • JamesJohnsonLMT Legend 1,282 posts since
    Aug 23, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    1. Oct 4, 2010 5:36 AM (in response to kimc921)
    Re: Kinesio tape -- does it work?

    It worked for me. I had Kinesio tape applied by a professional before  a 26.2 trainer about a year ago and it got me through the run without limping, even though for a month leading up I had been unable to exceed 13 miles without bailing out. It then worked in subsequent self-applications for 28, 30, 27, and 27 miles without the problem recurring, but my solution was handled at the knee only. Your case appears to be different.


    First, the red meat that you and I hope will get you on the road to recovery...


    Here is a video by Kinesio competitor KT Tape on techniques for hip-related ITBS...



    For those who watch this video at work or have the volume muted for any reason, the guy in the video is placing tape on his model's shorts for her modesty's sake. He says in the video, but cannot show, that you must put the tape on your skin without any pants in the way lol!


    For you, GGG, there is possibly the early genesisof hip bursitis but I think you are catching it in time to prevent that painful condition. It is true that the ITB can tighten causing pressure as it crosses the  hip but it is unfortunately not true that we can stretch it out. It's physically impossible to stretch unless you   remove the leg like a chicken wing. Yes you can take it through it's  range of motion and feel the tension, but the two powerful muscles that keep it taut will stretch long before the tough ITB does, and even they won't stretch much at all despite many claims to the contrary. There is no leverage on this mechanism without popping the hip joint, which some people unfortunately try to do. As they say in NYC, fuhgetaboutit!


    A lot of what is in the popular running lore on ITBS is being rethought, because the factual underpinnings are not there. The involved structures are frequently   redundant or complicated and people often recover despite the ineffectiveness of treatment, leading to confusion about what actually works. No wonder ITBS is such a bugaboo to solve. The most important thing to remember is that short of using meat hooks, you can't really stretch the band itself, nor should you try. Such stretches are hard on the hip joint.


    What you can do is relax the muscles that tension the band!  The concept is simple once you get the hang of it. The typical application is foam rolling as many suggested on your other thread. Just remember that while foam rolling is not a complete waste of time, since it massages the frequently problematic V. Lateralis underneath the band, it is often the weakest solution where it is needed most. You need a convex foam roller with a ridge in order to apply enough   targeted pressure to affect the TFL (tensor fasciae latae) muscle whose primary job is to tension the ITB. Another convex roller without a ridge can do  the job of relaxing the Glute Max, which also pulls on the   Band. A tennis ball is a suitable substitute   for the roller, and a smaller ball, knobber, or your thumbs can handle the TFL if need be. If you roll, roll upwards on these muscles to engage the lymphatic drainage system. Forget what the models doin the videos just do as I say lol.


    Everybody knows where Glute Max is. Now let's find the TFL via active flexion...


    Stand and walk with your hands on your hips, fingers forward. Wait... read this first. As you walk, the TFL will flex with every foot plant. You can feel it on the front of the pelvis just below the bony knob (ASIS) your hand rests on. On many people it is the size and shape of a mouse. On well developed athletes it can be as big as a rat. Between footstrikes you can feel it relax somewhat. Sink your thumbs into it during this time and a tense TFL will yield a sweet kind of pain that invites more pressure. You will need to "release" the partial contractions of this muscle in order to reduce the constant tension on the ITB. Hold the pressure for a few seconds while breathing deeply. Release. Lather, rinse, repeat a few times daily until you get relief. I'll leave the G. Max to you.


    Here is an interactive   visual aid that lets you  view   these muscles, their attachments, and   play with their actions  (note  the  TFL/ITB to the right)...



    Another less interactive but 3-D rotational model that solves the 2-D orientation problem for rendering the TFL...


    Note the distance between the TFL and the bone, showing how much stuff is hiding underneath while the ITB takes the blame for the pain. It is more   correct to say that ITBS is so named because of the location - not the origin - of the pain associated with it.


    The IT Band is so long that the problems associated with it can occur all  the way from the crest of the pelvis to below the knee joint. Most   people identify ITBS with lateral knee problems, and there is the persistent belief out there that a tight IT Band causes friction and inflammation on the side of the knee as it   crosses 30  degrees of knee flexion. This belief is based on the fact that this is when and where ITBS knee pain is usually felt, not how.


    Interestingly, autopsies (more correctly, cadaver dissections)  reveal that the   Band adheres to the lateral condyle of the femur through a fatty   layer   before it inserts as a  slender tendon into the  lateral   condyle of the   tibia just below the  knee joint where the the  tibia   and fibula   connect. This would - and does - prevent  the chafing   that  is generally surmised based on where the tendon ends,  leading  to   other theories   about an origin for the pain. The Vastus Lateralis   muscle  of the quads connects to the tibia just below  this point via the patellar tendon/ligament, and is known for sure to  act on  the  lower  leg. The   simple geometry would suggest that this tendon must pass the  painful area more than the ITB could, and you can feel it doing just that as you flex and extend the knee. This movement  is easily misinterpreted as ITB movement, but would be preposterous   because the  femur gets in the way. The short length of tendon that   ends the ITB helps keep the knee   from falling apart, and unlike V. Lateralis, is not known to act on the lower leg.


    So why does it hurt? Heck if I know.. I don't think anybody does for sure. I suppose the best person to ask would be the cadaver, who understandably isn't  talking. All I can say for sure about it is, a tight ITB is associated with pain in the area, even though the ITB is supposed to be tight in order to have any  value. I will hazard a guess... If the tensioning muscles of the ITB - TF and G.Max  - do not release, there is no rest for the origins and insertions of this muscle/tendon complex, and that  IMHO=sore. The whole value of Kinesio taping lies in the fact that it stimulates circulation and healing in sore areas of the body, circulation that does not occur enough in structures like these that never rest. The muscles of the body are meant to move and breathe like sea creatures rooted to the bottom of the ocean. No move, no live, that simple. Frozen structures that do not release do not move in the healthiest way possible.


    For those with the ITBS knee symptoms I have been ranting about, another KT video...



    FYI   This is not the technique I used, but it is representative of the others I've seen out there. BTW I missed my chance at CKTP certification this year, but it will come around again. I can't vouch for the KT tape or technique, because I have only used Kinesio but they seem to be doing a great job with what   they have, minus the original inventor. My guess, knowing the politics in healthcare, is that because Kenzo is a chiropractor the PTs had to have a product fronted by one of their own lol.


    Now that you are on the path to healing, it is time to address the reasons why you may be having the problem in the first place. Your other thread had suggestions about shoes, form, surfaces, and training. Other than the stretch we have already discussed, which has little more than placebo value, I agree with what I read. I would add only that foot structure is of prime importance. See this thread...   Modifications to all these things helped me get by without tape this entire year, so there is hope for ITBS sufferers everywhere. So far since my last marathon, I have worked up to 24 miles and counting...


    As   always, consult another professional if these techniques do not bring relief in a reasonable amount of time. You have plenty of time to get ready.. Good luck with your Half!!!



    "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."  -Ancient Chinese proverb

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...