I’d been curious about KT Tape ever since I noticed what appeared to be a tangle of black duct tape stuck to volleyball player Kerri Walsh’s shoulder during the 2008 Olympics in Beijing. Walsh credits KT Tape to helping her manage her rotator-cuff injuries, and I was convinced that if the tape could help her, it could certainly help a schmo like me.
Still, when I saw a sample of KT Tape in my Marine Corps Marathon goody bag, I didn’t immediately slap it on my tendonitis-ridden ankle. I saw complicated-looking arrangements of tape stuck to other runners’ legs, and assumed there was a long, complicated application process these runners had learned from an expert.
I’m not sure what made me dig out that tape again, several months after the fact, but last week, I finally decided to give it a try. I gave the Web site a quick look to see if I could find instructions for application. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the user-friendly site provides short, helpful videos for applying the tape to every imaginable injury, including tendonitis. It took all of five minutes to get it just right the first time.
I couldn’t tell a difference immediately. It wasn’t until my running buddy commented on the tape mid-run that I realized just how well it was working: I hadn’t thought about the tape, or my ankle, once.
KT Tape apparently works differently for every injury, helping to stabilize some tendons and ligaments and lifting pressure off other ones. I found this description from the KT Tape Web site helpful: “Depending on how it is applied, KT Tape supports, enables, or restricts soft tissue and its movement. By stretching and recoiling like a rubber band, KT Tape augments tissue function and distributes loads away from inflamed or damaged muscles and tendons, thereby protecting tissues from further injury.”
Bottom line: It made my ankle hurt less on two five-milers and one eight-miler. I bought a full roll of pink KT Tape (it comes in other colors, but why would you want them with pink available?) for $12.99 on Amazon.com. My sole complaint: The tape starts peeling off after five or so miles. Still, for that cost, I would recommend anyone with a nagging running injury give it a try.