Your knee joint is vulnerable and prone to a number of painful types of injuries. If you suffer a knee injury or your knee is beginning to show signs of wear and tear it’s important to identify the best way to protect yourself from further damage.
Knee taping is one of the most popular ways to prevent and manage knee damage. Kinesio taping in particular is essential during the early management of injury and rehabilitation.
When correctly applied, kinesio tape can also make the recurrence of your injury less likely when you recommence training. In addition to physical support, taping reminds you to make a conscious effort to treat your knee with extra care.
The purpose of kinesio tape
If you play a sport that involves a lot of running or agile leg movements your knee will be getting a work out. Constant use of your knee joint can weaken it and make you more prone to a knee injury.
Kinesio taping is a very skin-friendly method of taping that gently yet effectively reeducates your neuro-muscular system.
For example, when the muscles surrounding your knee become fatigued after hours of running or changing direction, kinesio tape can be applied to provide support for your muscles so they can protect your fragile knee joint.
Kinesio taping can be used to rehabilitate an injured knee as well4. It is designed to facilitate your body’s natural healing process and provide support and stability without restricting your body’s range of motion.
In addition, this therapeutic taping technique helps to:
- Reduce muscle fatigue
- Increase blood flow
- Prevent cramps
- Assist in reduction of bruising
How does kinesio tape work?
Kinesio tape works on a microscopic level in two key ways:
- By lifting the upper layers of your skin away from your body. This helps to decrease inflammation by allowing your lymph nodes to drain waste fluids properly.
- By targeting different receptors within your somatosensory system. Among other things, your somatosensory system is responsible for providing your brain with information about stimuli that are causing you pain or discomfort6. Kinesio tape helps to alleviate (or mask) the pain associated with injury.
Preventing knee injuries – how to choose the best materials
Before playing sport or going for a long run it’s important to take some preventative measures to avoid new or reoccurring knee injuries.
The cause and severity of your knee pain will determine which materials you use to prevent injury. Here are five different products that help to prevent knee injuries:
- ATF Kinesiology tape – support, stabilise and balance a weak kneecap (patella) to relieve pressure and protect yourself from common injuries including runner’s knee (patella tendonitis), jumper’s knee, patella tracking, meniscus tears and patellofemoral pain7.
- Sport Knee support – provide basic support and moderate compression. Contoured shapes make for optimal fit and protection.
- Tubular Support Bandage – knee sleeves like this are simple to use and offer compression to reduce swelling and provide temporary relief.
- Sport Adjustable Knee Stabiliser Brace – provide extra strong support to weak or previously injured knees. Reinforced sides support the co-lateral ligaments in your knee and help to prevent re-injury.
- Sport Adjustable Knee Strap – specifically designed to provide relief for runner’s knee, adjustable knee straps like this provide targeted support to the knee cap.