For our lastWorkout Of The Month we talked about Kinesiology Tape: Does It work? What Does It Do? And How Does It Work? Some people make the argument that kinesiology tape is nothing more than a placebo effect – tricking the mind to reducing pain or thinking that the tape actually makes a difference. Here’s what I learned from my own personal experience with Kinesiology tape.
What I Learned From Wearing Kinesiology Tape
For those who have been followers of this blog since it’s inception a few years ago, you (hopefully) know a little bit about me by now – enough to know that fitness is not only just a hobby of mine – but it’s an incredible passion as well. Fitness…is addicting. The last decade of my life has been spent training to be the best possible athlete that I could possible be. While I am certainly not the best, I strive to be the best against myself.
My true passion for staying as fit as possible is for my true fitness love: surfing. I just want to be fit to surf well. Along with surfing I’ve also done several competitive races in the form of mud runs and Spartan races throughout the years. I’m not going to lie, I’ve trained pretty hard for them.
Several months ago I started getting a nagging aching in my gluteal fold and tenderness along my lumbar-sacral region. The pain came on suddenly after working on my vertical leap, and subsequently, doing deadlifts within the same exercise program. The pain lasted weeks, became sharp, and kept me up at night. Sitting in a car longer than fifteen minutes was unbearable. Sitting down at a restaurant or in church was near impossible. I was constantly shifting my weight trying to find a position that made it comfortable for me to sit in. Running, an activity that I took for granted soon became impossible for me due to the pain on the right side of my glute. I tried ice. I tried heat. I tried stretching. I tried foam rolling. I tried ibuprofen. I tried Norco. Nothing seemed to work. I finally gave in and went to my primary care physician.
Her diagnosis: a bulging disk. The bulging disk was causing irritation on my sciatic nerve which was causing inflammation and pain in my gluteal region. The pain was even worse with trunk flexion and leg extension. My treatment: physical therapy. For the last couple of months I’ve been going through some amazing physical therapy sessions. The sessions have focused on fixing some pretty bad hip-complex imbalances that I had developed over the last decade of intense physical activity.
Kinesiology Tape Treatment
One of the issues that I had developed were tight hip flexors. This was pulling my pelvis forward putting pressure on my lumbar spine and in turn, making the pain in my back worse. One of the treatments through physical therapy was placing kinesiolgy tape along the extensor muscles of my back. I’ve been wearing the tape intermittently, and let me tell you, you can call the tape a placebo effect if you want, but I’m a firm believer that this tape works.
My day job is working as a nurse in the emergency room. Naturally, as my job requires it, I do a lot of bending and trunk flexion at work while working with patients. This is where my tight hip flexor issue was coming from. In addition from making my hip flexors tight, it was also weakening my lower back – my posture was becoming bad and I wasn’t even aware of it.
The kinesiology tape was pretty straight forward. It ran several inches up and down my back extensors. The tape is designed to be elastic enough to not limit your natural range of motion yet it has enough tension on you to realize when your posture may be compromised. I’ve been wearing the tape intermittently for a months now. Let me tell you, I never realized how BAD my posture was until I tried kinesiology tape. The tape was strategically placed so that if I were to round my back, I’d feel tension in the tape. Feeling the tension in the tape would trigger my mind to be aware that I’d be having poor posture and would allow me to correct my form.
From my own personal experience, kinesiology tape has helped to:
- Greatly reduce pain – so much so that I’ve been able to sleep through the night again without being woken up by pain
- Help me to correct poor posture – in my case it was rounding the back
- Increase my activity levels – the sciatic pain in my lower back was limiting the amount of physical activity that I was able to do. With the reduction in pain and correction in posture, I’ve been able to increase my levels of activity. I still can’t run. But it has been a giant leap in progress.
Prior to actually using kinesiology tape, I myself was somewhat of a skeptic over the ability for the tape to actually have any benefit outside of a placebo effect. After first hand experience, I’m sold. If you’re curious more about kinesiology tape, you can view our post on how kinesiology tape works.
Have you ever used kinesiology tape? What was your experience like?