R.I.C.E. = Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation.
This is the standard treatment for post-injury and even, injury prevention.
Look inside my freezer and you will see approximately 1 dozen ice packs. They are my best friends. After each workout, run, ride – I will ice my most injury prone areas (knees and ankles). In my youth, I had many injuries in those areas and until I learned good running form (ChiRunning) I suffered from constant knee and ankle problems.
Around the first of the year, I suffered a severe groin/hip strain from improper & over training. Most importantly, I didn’t allow myself to heal – I just “ran through it” (bad advise given to me by some people). In March, looking for some type of relief a light bulb went off.
I do REST
I do ICE (A LOT!)
I do Elevation
What was I doing for Compression? Why is it that I never hear of any athletes speak of Compression options, but I always see athletes with some type of wrapped tape on themselves.
I started to research options. I am a research junkie. I will research, ask around and I will test out what works for me.
I was lead to KT Tape. I saw it many times on athletes, and thought – well, it’s worth a shot! It’s better than wrapping myself up with tape that falls off, etc.
|KT TAPE - Image from KTTape.com|
I studied the application videos and PDF’s (provided on their website). Spoke with a few PT’s – for assistance (some even believed that Compression/KT Tape was a mental crutch. Okay, that didn’t win me over, at all. ) When I asked them what they advise for Compression? They never could give me an answer. Oh, that really impressed me (enter sarcasm)
I put the KT Tape on the recommended groin/hip areas and left it on all night. The next morning, I sprang from my bed (this was during the time my dog was very ill) – and I hardly felt any pain. Mobility was still stiff, but the pain was considerably less. Interesting!
I started using the tape regularly. I felt it provided me some support I desperately needed for my hips/groins.
During that fateful day my hip went north, while I went south – I had the tape on. When I went to a PT and rehab specialist after the injury, they said if I had not had the tape on – I probably would of injured my hip, even worse. Keep in mind, these PT's NEVER believed in KT Tape. They are believers now. Here is my post-race picture – you can see the tape on my right hip/upper thighs:
During my rehab, I wore my KT tape to keep my hips secure.
As I moved away from the inserts in my shoes into a more minimalist shoe, I made the conscience decision to add KT tape to my long runs and race days – to my knees and ankles/calves. As added support and hopefully, injury prevention. I do not wear the KT Tape for every workout - only when I feel I need the added support (hills, distance, speed, etc)
This past Saturday's race, I was wrapped up, again. However, I didn’t have ANY pains during nor post race. Now, think for just a second – I am running UP a hill for 4 miles – ALL uphill. At mile 1 I should of felt the pain of the strain of going up hill.
You know that burn and pain, right?
The only part that is uncomfortable is taking the tape off. A little sticky, but oh well.
I continue to R.I.C.E. after my workouts and my race days. It’s a part of my training routine.
If someone says that KT Tape is a mental crutch – then, I will ask the same thing I asked the PT’s – what do you do for Compression? All respected medical doctors and PT recommend Compression, then why are so many ignoring Compression application?
Good news, you can now find it at Wal-Mart and it is much cheaper than at the local sports store.
APPLICATION TIP: Wipe down the area you wish to tape with rubbing alcohol. Let dry completely. This will remove any soap & oil residue. Apply the tape. Watch AT LEAST an hour before you workout. I typically put it on the night before a long run or race day. By then it is adhered, well. If you have a tail end that won’t adhere. Just snip off with scissors.
I wrote this review, because so many have asked me about the tape on my knees on race pictures. KT Tape did not send me samples nor was I compensated for this review. The views expressed are strictly my own.
Here are more of my race day photos with KT Tape on my knees:
If you have not tried KT Tape – I recommend you do, especially if you are injury prone. However, nothing takes the place of GOOD RUNNING FORM & R.I.E. (Rest, Ice, Elevation) – just don’t forget the “C” = Compression.
Do you use KT Tape? Please share your experiences.
(c) C. Ragsdale 2011
Celebrate Your Finish,
Charlene L. Ragsdale - Las Vegas, NV
Certified Sports Nutritionist, Running Coach & Public Speaker
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