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The Miracle of Kinesiology Tape

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Past OR future Camino
Too many to count!
I am telling an anecdotal story about my knees and their health as they age. I am an RN and a yoga teacher, with experience in occupational injuries (Work Comp) and the dynamics of the human body. I know my way around musculoskeletal injuries, at least a bit.

Periodically, I have had issues with a left sore knee when walking Caminos. Not, always, but sometimes. Never permanent or serious injuries, but always transitory. I have self-diagnosed the issue, as a repetitive motion injury (of course), involving bursitis (inflamed bursa) in the interior of the knee, called the pes anserine bursa. No doubt there has been some tendonitis in there too.

As a result of my first issue with this on the Camino de San Salvador, and a year later on the Camino Teresiano, I have found the beauty of kinesiology tape!

In the past, I used to use the knee support sleeves, bought at any pharmacia in Spain, or anywhere, for that matter. All they seemed to do was keep my knees warm - not altogether useless - if it's cold!

This summer, in lieu of walking Caminos, I have been hiking the mountains of Colorado. I tape my knees every time. No injury, yet. I just did a mountain climb, 4000 vertical feet over four miles. The pounding on the way down was extreme. No injury! Wow! Could this be my miracle cure??
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
There’s an excellent BBC podcast called ‘The best thing since sliced bread?’ which devoted an entire episode to kinesiology tape

I’ve used it in the past, and always carry a couple of pre-cut lengths in my sack - but there’s little to no actual evidence that it does anything other than provide a gentle degree of support. The online guides to KT tape are very carefully worded to not claim any proven benefit.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Past OR future Camino
Too many to count!
There’s an excellent BBC podcast called ‘The best thing since sliced bread?’ which devoted an entire episode to kinesiology tape

I’ve used it in the past, and always carry a couple of pre-cut lengths in my sack - but there’s little to no actual evidence that it does anything other than provide a gentle degree of support. The online guides to KT tape are very carefully worded to not claim any proven benefit.
I wonder why many athletes use it? Or is is just for endorsements? Seems to work for me. I suppose a multi-day Camino will put my tape to the real test! And I will look up the podcast.
 

Northernlights

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2016
I am telling an anecdotal story about my knees and their health as they age. I am an RN and a yoga teacher, with experience in occupational injuries (Work Comp) and the dynamics of the human body. I know my way around musculoskeletal injuries, at least a bit.

Periodically, I have had issues with a left sore knee when walking Caminos. Not, always, but sometimes. Never permanent or serious injuries, but always transitory. I have self-diagnosed the issue, as a repetitive motion injury (of course), involving bursitis (inflamed bursa) in the interior of the knee, called the pes anserine bursa. No doubt there has been some tendonitis in there too.

As a result of my first issue with this on the Camino de San Salvador, and a year later on the Camino Teresiano, I have found the beauty of kinesiology tape!

In the past, I used to use the knee support sleeves, bought at any pharmacia in Spain, or anywhere, for that matter. All they seemed to do was keep my knees warm - not altogether useless - if it's cold!

This summer, in lieu of walking Caminos, I have been hiking the mountains of Colorado. I tape my knees every time. No injury, yet. I just did a mountain climb, 4000 vertical feet over four miles. The pounding on the way down was extreme. No injury! Wow! Could this be my miracle cure??
I have KT in my first aid kit, won’t leave home without it. I’ve not had to use it so far, but two other people I’ve come across on my walks have used it and say it works great
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
I use compression sleeves for my knees, and have found them a necessity now for recovery after work outs, runs and walking the Camino. The tape, to be honest, I found useless. Did nothing. IMO I categorize them with chiropractic "medicine". Bit of a junk science.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Past OR future Camino
Too many to count!
I use compression sleeves for my knees, and have found them a necessity now for recovery after work outs, runs and walking the Camino. The tape, to be honest, I found useless. Did nothing. IMO I categorize them with chiropractic "medicine". Bit of a junk science.
And the compression sleeves as you call them did nothing for me! 😜 The experts in the podcast basically say that any tape, not just expensive kinesiology tape will provide support and proprioception for the joint, as well as a mild increase in circulation. The most effect is in the ankle joint, the knees to a lesser extent, and the shoulders are very difficult to tape effectively. I say do whatever works for your particular issue.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
And the compression sleeves as you call them did nothing for me! 😜 The experts in the podcast basically say that any tape, not just expensive kinesiology tape will provide support and proprioception for the joint, as well as a mild increase in circulation. The most effect is in the ankle joint, the knees to a lesser extent, and the shoulders are very difficult to tape effectively. I say do whatever works for your particular issue.
I had an unexpected occurrence of plantar fasciitis nearly two years ago on the Camino de Madrid - sufficient to stop me in my tracks. I’ve got an unusually high pain threshold, but it was intolerable.

I consulted my physio (remotely) and had some excellent advice on here to strap up with ‘low dye’ tape - non stretch. All I could get quickly was kinesiology tape and it provided immediate relief.

I should say that other advice on here (that’s you I’m looking at @Tincatinker) to medicate internally with Orujo was equally welcome.
 
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RJM

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
A few times
And the compression sleeves as you call them did nothing for me! 😜 The experts in the podcast basically say that any tape, not just expensive kinesiology tape will provide support and proprioception for the joint, as well as a mild increase in circulation. The most effect is in the ankle joint, the knees to a lesser extent, and the shoulders are very difficult to tape effectively. I say do whatever works for your particular issue.
Probably what did the most to improve my knees was investing in a heavy duty, chain driven spin bike about three years ago. Twenty to thirty minute workouts on it a few days a week completely improved my knees and the overall strength and fitness of my legs. I found myself walking further and less soreness to my knees on the Camino (two of them) since I started working out on the spin bike.
* Also, yoga stretching. Implementing that into a daily routine before and after walks, runs and the spin bike helped tremedously.
 
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Phoenix

Generic member
Past OR future Camino
2022
Glad you found something that brings positive results. If KT, compression sleeves, or at-home physical therapy measures (spin bike, swimming, etc.) work for you, it doesn't matter whether it works for other folks. I might try KT as a proactive measure against PF.

The alternatives are increasingly debilitating pain or getting a metal alloy/polyethylene prosthetic joint that costs as much as a high-end luxury car in each leg, not to mention the time and pain involved.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Regarding plantar fasciitis - I'm not a sufferer myself, but I remember someone here posting about this product which they said did miracles for their PF.

 

Traveller44

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I am telling an anecdotal story about my knees and their health as they age. I am an RN and a yoga teacher, with experience in occupational injuries (Work Comp) and the dynamics of the human body. I know my way around musculoskeletal injuries, at least a bit.

Periodically, I have had issues with a left sore knee when walking Caminos. Not, always, but sometimes. Never permanent or serious injuries, but always transitory. I have self-diagnosed the issue, as a repetitive motion injury (of course), involving bursitis (inflamed bursa) in the interior of the knee, called the pes anserine bursa. No doubt there has been some tendonitis in there too.

As a result of my first issue with this on the Camino de San Salvador, and a year later on the Camino Teresiano, I have found the beauty of kinesiology tape!

In the past, I used to use the knee support sleeves, bought at any pharmacia in Spain, or anywhere, for that matter. All they seemed to do was keep my knees warm - not altogether useless - if it's cold!

This summer, in lieu of walking Caminos, I have been hiking the mountains of Colorado. I tape my knees every time. No injury, yet. I just did a mountain climb, 4000 vertical feet over four miles. The pounding on the way down was extreme. No injury! Wow! Could this be my miracle cure??
Would it be possible for you to post a picture of your knee taped....thank you.
 

jsalt

Jill
Past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
As a result of my first issue with this on the Camino de San Salvador, and a year later on the Camino Teresiano, I have found the beauty of kinesiology tape!

It’s brilliant stuff.

I had the same knee problem, and one evening a fellow pilgrim strapped the X shaped tape over my knee.

It worked so well, that I always have one now in my small 1st aid kit – along with the tick remover (another story) :oops:.

And I second the Orujo medication as well 🤣.
 
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Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Past OR future Camino
Too many to count!
Would it be possible for you to post a picture of your knee taped....thank you.
Hi @Traveller44, I will not waste the expensive tape to create a photo, but there are many, many youtube videos on how to tape the knee, depending on what your issue is. My issue is the inner knee, and I do something like this, just a bit modified:
This video is from the KT product. There are tons of videos on how to tape the knee for patellar tendon issues (runner's knee) which is also very common Camino injury. Good luck and happy taping!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I use compression sleeves for my knees, and have found them a necessity now for recovery after work outs, runs and walking the Camino. The tape, to be honest, I found useless. Did nothing. IMO I categorize them with chiropractic "medicine". Bit of a junk science.
Just because something does not "work" for you does not mean it is not an effective therapy for others. I have woken up on more than a few occasions with nerve inflammation and no lateral movement. Conventional medicine do absolutely nothing for me. My fantastic Chiropractor does a few manipulations and I have instant relief with only a little soreness due to my muscle contractions and pain that dissipates within a few hours. When I have had shoulder or hip pain in training for a camino a few manipulations on his table cures that instantaneously. As mentioned before i have also tried a compression sleeve, recommended by an orthopedic surgeon and it only exacerbated a mild issue I had. A little rest and stretches that my Chiropractor and a PT suggested cleared things up quickly without a reoccurance.
As Elle said:
I say do whatever works for your particular issue.
As the old saying goes (or something like this) One man's junk is another man's treasure.
 

Patrice C

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I have been rehabbing from surgery of a torn meniscus and I have cartilage loss. The pain on the inside of my knee was really problematic. The PT started using KT tape on it around the same time I started mobic so hard to tell what helped. I started doing the exercises in the pool and the KT tape wouldn’t stay on. I found a brand that really stays on - Rocktape H2O extra sticky (purchased on amazon). During that time I had a blister under a callus on my toe that was draining. The blister bandaids wouldnt stay on in the pool so I cut a strip of the Rocktape and wrapped it on top of the blister band aid. It stayed on. It’s not water proof so I had to remove it when I got out of the pool. Apply Neosporin and cut off any skin that maserated.
Also when my knee really hurt I would put the tape on AND the knee sleeve. It seemed to keep help.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Kinesiology tape never helped for my knees, but it is a miracle worker for blisters. I always got and had to manage blisters. Once I started taping the parts of my foot that blistered, it never happened again!
Taping blister prone areas has been a successful strategy for me too, but I find KT tape to be more expensive for this purpose than my favorite Omnifix tape which I first discovered in a farmacia in Spain.
 
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Traveller44

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Taping blister prone areas has been a successful strategy for me too, but I find KT tape to be more expensive for this purpose than my favorite Omnifix tape which I first discovered in a farmacia in Spain.
Added to my must puchase list mil gracis
 
Past OR future Camino
06,CF;13,CP;17,SSal;19,Ingles
Elie, so glad you have found something non-intrusive that works. I had two injections of something into my right knee, about a year apart after the beautiful but dastardly Salvador! I can say that now I do not need any support for my knees. I wish you continued success with the tape. I love your blogs, so attractively presented, as well as useful and practical!
 

Barney12

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I am telling an anecdotal story about my knees and their health as they age. I am an RN and a yoga teacher, with experience in occupational injuries (Work Comp) and the dynamics of the human body. I know my way around musculoskeletal injuries, at least a bit.

Periodically, I have had issues with a left sore knee when walking Caminos. Not, always, but sometimes. Never permanent or serious injuries, but always transitory. I have self-diagnosed the issue, as a repetitive motion injury (of course), involving bursitis (inflamed bursa) in the interior of the knee, called the pes anserine bursa. No doubt there has been some tendonitis in there too.

As a result of my first issue with this on the Camino de San Salvador, and a year later on the Camino Teresiano, I have found the beauty of kinesiology tape!

In the past, I used to use the knee support sleeves, bought at any pharmacia in Spain, or anywhere, for that matter. All they seemed to do was keep my knees warm - not altogether useless - if it's cold!

This summer, in lieu of walking Caminos, I have been hiking the mountains of Colorado. I tape my knees every time. No injury, yet. I just did a mountain climb, 4000 vertical feet over four miles. The pounding on the way down was extreme. No injury! Wow! Could this be my miracle cure??
HI there Elle.. thats really interesting! Im an RN too.. and with one bad knee which seems to always be sore in front of and below my kneecap. ( along with a good old dose of OA ). And all things going well am wanting to do the CF next May. Im interested in this tape... and any technique you used to secure and stablilise your knee. Im thinking there was a special way you applied it? Thanks heaps!
 

Barney12

New Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I am telling an anecdotal story about my knees and their health as they age. I am an RN and a yoga teacher, with experience in occupational injuries (Work Comp) and the dynamics of the human body. I know my way around musculoskeletal injuries, at least a bit.

Periodically, I have had issues with a left sore knee when walking Caminos. Not, always, but sometimes. Never permanent or serious injuries, but always transitory. I have self-diagnosed the issue, as a repetitive motion injury (of course), involving bursitis (inflamed bursa) in the interior of the knee, called the pes anserine bursa. No doubt there has been some tendonitis in there too.

As a result of my first issue with this on the Camino de San Salvador, and a year later on the Camino Teresiano, I have found the beauty of kinesiology tape!

In the past, I used to use the knee support sleeves, bought at any pharmacia in Spain, or anywhere, for that matter. All they seemed to do was keep my knees warm - not altogether useless - if it's cold!

This summer, in lieu of walking Caminos, I have been hiking the mountains of Colorado. I tape my knees every time. No injury, yet. I just did a mountain climb, 4000 vertical feet over four miles. The pounding on the way down was extreme. No injury! Wow! Could this be my miracle cure??
OH.. Ive just scrolled down lol.... my aplologies.. got carried away!!!!
 
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Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
I love KT, but have generally only had it applied by a professional.
And had a professional show me how to do it on a specific injury I had.

Not sure I'd be confident to use it without really knowing what I'm doing.
It would be easy I imagine to apply the wrong tensions etc.
 

Robo

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF SJPdP to SdC
(May 2015)
CF Sarria to SdC
(May 2016)
CF SJPDP-SdC
(May 2018)
VdlP (2022?)
There’s an excellent BBC podcast called ‘The best thing since sliced bread?’ which devoted an entire episode to kinesiology tape

I’ve used it in the past, and always carry a couple of pre-cut lengths in my sack - but there’s little to no actual evidence that it does anything other than provide a gentle degree of support. The online guides to KT tape are very carefully worded to not claim any proven benefit.

The podcast was really interesting.
But........

The conclusions were not really conclusive.

I have tended to use old style Zinc Tape for self application, and have been pleased with that.
I only have some experience of KT type tapes. (applied by a Physio)
It seemed good at the time. But maybe a Placebo effect?
The podcast panel seem to think that KT may not be any better than normal tapes.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
The podcast was really interesting.
But........

The conclusions were not really conclusive.

I have tended to use old style Zinc Tape for self application, and have been pleased with that.
I only have some experience of KT type tapes. (applied by a Physio)
It seemed good at the time. But maybe a Placebo effect?
The podcast panel seem to think that KT may not be any better than normal tapes.
Yes, I think you summed it up well. Appropriate taping is good, but kinesiology tape may be no better than old style tape.

Still I use it. Perhaps I’m attracted to bright colours?
 
Past OR future Camino
V. Fran (2019) in progress
C. Primitivo (2019)
C. Frances - (2019) in progress
C. Finnisterre (2015)
Kinesiology tape never helped for my knees, but it is a miracle worker for blisters. I always got and had to manage blisters. Once I started taping the parts of my foot that blistered, it never happened again!li
Compeed - it's a miracle <w>. My little investment in '15 has only been used once but it was a Camino-saver! The pack of Compeed sits in the bottom of my ruck sack and I hope that I'll not need to dig it out again.
 
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Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Past OR future Camino
Too many to count!
Still I use it. Perhaps I’m attracted to bright colours?
[/QUOTE]
Perhaps because kinesiology tape is stretchy and easier to manage? I actually don't like the bright colors. I use an off-brand because it comes in beige! 😊
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I’m a big fan. I use mueller tape when I can get it because it’s more sticky than K-tape (which just seems to fall off me).
My first use of the tape was for plantar fasciitis that I developed from a pair of boots that just were not right for me. The tape reduced my issues to about 10% of what they had been, and from there I was able to heal… never had a problem since. That was in 2013.
I then went on my 2014 camino and developed tendinitis so badly that every step caused giant tears to leap from my eyes.
I now make the “smiley face” sling under my left knee, just at the top of the tibia whenever I am going out for more than 15K and I’ve been great ever since starting that process on the 2014 camino to deal with the acute situation.
What it can’t help with is my lumbar spine issues that cause pain all over my Iliac crest on both sides. That’s about blown out disks, and there’s nothing tape can do to alleviate that. Hoping I can drop some of the COV pounds now that we are out of lockdown… that should help.
I don’t really know what makes me feel improved with the tape, but it is obvious and sustained as an effect, so I’m sticking with it.
 
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henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Compeed - it's a miracle <w>. My little investment in '15 has only been used once but it was a Camino-saver! The pack sits in the bottom of my ruck sack and I hope that I'll not need to dig it out again.
You might want to check it. It does have a limited lifespan, especially if not stored airtight. I’m also a fan.

Combining the two thoughts - KT do make short rounded lengths of their tape which they sell for ‘blister prevention’
 

Traveller44

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Lots of good information and opinions in the proceedings posts .They bring to mind an old John Lennon song..."whatever gets you thru the night , is all right, it's all right".
 

Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
Yes, I think you summed it up well. Appropriate taping is good, but kinesiology tape may be no better than old style tape.

Still I use it. Perhaps I’m attracted to bright colours?
I wonder if the clinical effect being no better is still given something of a *comfort* enhancement, as @Elle Bieling notes, from the stretchiness. I can’t stand the cutting edges and creases of regular tape. And *for me* the Mueller brand does not cause skin irritation even though their adhesive is stronger on *my* skin than is the K-tape glue.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I wonder if the clinical effect being no better is still given something of a *comfort* enhancement, as @Elle Bieling notes, from the stretchiness. I can’t stand the cutting edges and creases of regular tape. And *for me* the Mueller brand does not cause skin irritation even though their adhesive is stronger on *my* skin than is the K-tape glue.
Well, against my advice, ad-nausem, people do still buy RFID wallets …

I’m going to seek out some ‘mueller’ tape as KT does give me some skin irritation especially if taping the side of my ankle.
The best I found was when I was in dire need, from a farmacia. Unbranded, flexible and strongly adhesive. At the time, I’d have tried anything!
 
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dick bird

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Plata, Ingles, Madrid, Norte, Primitivo, Invierno, Aragones, Olvidado, Chemin D'Arles
Not sure if anyone else has said this (it's a long thread), but it's actually a very effective general purpose tape - better than gaffer tape for running repairs on equipment etc. It is also pretty good for taping up knees, ankles etc. We've used a few times. There are youtube videos on how to use it - for medical purposes at least.
 

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