Monday, September 30, 2013

"Bandaid the problem"... aka KT Tape

After my hip flexor strain, I was desperate for any solution other than the prescribed “no running for two weeks” option. I know, I know, you are supposed to heal an injury rather than just bandaid the problem. I took a whole 5 days off of running. FIVE. After the miserable 5 days of walks and really easy and boring elliptical minutes, I headed back to Google for another option… 

Enter my new love… KT Tape

Apparently if I would have gone to Instagram earlier and searched the hashtag runnersproblems, I would have seen this earlier. I’ve seen volleyball players wear it, and I had seen it on a runner or two at prior races, but it didn’t really dawn on me that this could help my hip flexor. The KT Tape official website has a video on how to apply almost anywhere. YouTube has several as well. 

Check out the WHAT IT IS section of the official KT Tape website..explains a lot..
I watched a few videos on hip flexor application, but I march to the beat of my own drum, and figured out what worked best for me, a pretty simple odd shaped X. The pain point is a good place to start like they indicate in the video. Two strips at a time does the trick for me. Obviously, depending on the area you may need more, or you can rip one in half. It’s not cheap stuff ($12.99 for 20 strips) BUT it’s worth every dime in my opinion. I’ve been wearing it on EVERY run for over a month now. I would say running wise, my hip is mostly healed, and I probably wouldn’t NEED to tape every run, but right now I’m almost afraid for the first run without it. KT Tape can be purchased online or at most sporting goods stores. I buy mine at our local Hibbett Sports

-Obviously make sure you are OK to be running, don’t use it as a bandaid unless you are sure you don’t have a major issue going on! (Do as I say, not as I did) 
-Use soap and water to clean the area of skin you will be applying the tape to. Dry thoroughly. 
-I read a tip online that I always follow, and that is to use hairspray. Spray the area of clean skin wear the tape will go before application. Let it dry, and then apply the tape. It helps it stay on especially if you get super sweaty. -Wear compression shorts or socks. If you tape your calves or shins, I would recommend wearing a compression sock or sleeve to help keep the tape in place. I wore compression shorts to help my hip tape stay, and it helped with support and circulation. 
-Do your research. Watch the instructional videos, make sure you are applying it correctly. It’s pretty expensive, and you want to make sure you are actually getting the full benefit of it. I’ve personally never been professionally taped, but it is my understanding at some races or race expos, KT Tape has a booth and they will actually tape you up. Sounds sweet.