Living, Work Out

KT Tape, I love you

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I’ve briefly addressed my tendonitis before, but haven’t talked too much about it. I have had carpal tunnel for years (diagnosed at age 16,) and the week before I made this big cross-country move, there was a new pain in my wrist. After first trying to shake it off and ignore it, I finally went to the ER the night before the 13 hour drive… and came out in a half cast with a tendonitis diagnosis. Originally I thought it was something that would heal up and pass on its own, but here I sit months later and it still persists.

august 2012
august 2012

About a month ago, the pain was so bad again (despite wearing a brace every day for at least 10 hours, sometimes even sleeping with it) that I was in tears by the end of almost every work day. Everything made it hurt – driving, typing, even running sometimes. I had heard about this KT Tape stuff from the Olympics and through some fitness blogs I read and even went so far as to watching some of the application videos, but the one for wrist pain didn’t look like something I could do myself. I was also dubious – how did this colorful tape work? Would it be worth spending $15-$20 on just to try? Is it only for athletic injuries or would it help with my tendonitis pain? Finally, on vacation with my family and sick of the bulky brace that didn’t help the pain, I impulsive bought a roll of the classic pink and my cousin wrapped me up.

If you’re a Grey’s Anatomy fan, maybe you remember the scene where Erica Hahn tells Callie that kissing her felt like “putting on glasses.” (Stay with me.) Almost immediately, the KT Tape was like putting on glasses – the pain I had been suffering with was gone. I wanted to cry because I couldn’t remember what it felt like to not be in pain. I have since used it on my foot injury, the IT band pain in my hip, and taped both of my knees for the races last weekend. I still don’t understand how it works, but I’m totally obsessed with it, even if it is pricey.

KT tape

My tips for use:

  • First spray the area you’re taping with hairspray. I hold the can about a foot from my skin to get a light covering and let it dry until it’s tacky. It helps the adhesion. (If it does come loose, I spray hairspray on the skin again, retrack, and use a hairdryer.) I can get at least 7 days of good hold from a roll of pro this way.
  • Splurge on the pro tape. It really does make a huge difference and it lasts longer.
  • Watch the videos and ask questions! Their social media team is super responsive and they have a PT who will answer more specific questions if there’s not an app for your injury, and their website also has an “ask the experts” forum.
  • If your injury is something like your wrist, phone a friend for help first. I can do it myself now, but it took some practice and an extra hand to master the art.

Have you ever used KT Tape? What sort of injuries do you use it for?