Last Friday I attended a KT Tape clinic at Fleet Feet Sports in Encino. If you follow my blog, then you probably already know that I am a big fan of KT Tape, having chronicled my usage of it here. However I wanted to meet with Dr. Kari Andrew, who was hosting the clinic, to make sure I was putting it on correctly & get additional tips. There’s only so much I can glean from skimming through the KT Tape website & watching the YouTube videos. Disclaimer: the tips & information that I blog about should in no way serve as professional advice. If you have a medical condition like plantar fasciitis or some sort of knee injury from running, then it is best to consult a physician before trying this at home. Ok, so now that we got that out of the way, back to the clinic!
Dr. Andrew passed out samples of KT tape strips to the half dozen people who were assembled in the back area of the retail store.
She explained that KT Tape is:
- Heat activated: after it is applied to your skin, it takes 30-45 minutes to get activated
- Latex free
- Extremely breathable
- Essentially waterproof: you can shower with it & it should last 1-3 days, depending on your skin type
There are some things you should do to prep the skin before applying the tape – clean the skin so that it is free from lotions and oils, as these things will hamper the effectiveness of the tape sticking to your skin. Some people take alcohol wipes & swab the area down, just to be sure that all of the oils are removed from the skin. I’ve heard folks in the running community talk about problems they have with getting KT Tape to stick. I’ve never had an issue with KT Tape, but they do sell a skin prep & adhesive spray (which I never knew about until I went to the clinic).
For guys who are applying it to their legs, you may want to shave the area so that the tape can stick effectively. Also if you forget to remove the hair, it will probably get pulled off when you peel off the tape! Yikes, can you say unexpected leg wax?!?
Once the skin is prepped, then Dr. Andrews explained to us how to apply the tape. It’s important to touch the tape as little as possible. The easiest way I found to get the backing off of the tape is by using the “tear technique.” Take one precut strip & make a tiny tear in the backing, about a half inch in. Then rip the backing off & apply the base flat, approximately 2” above or below the target tissue/muscle that requires treatment. Rub the base to activate the adhesive, but don’t stretch it yet!
You should never stretch or apply tension at the anchor points (the base or the end). The stretch goes in the middle of the strip, over the muscle or tissue that is in need of treatment. Dr. Andrews explained that you should never fully stretch it 100%, as that is too tight. The tape is designed for 55-60% stretch. It is better to not have enough tension than to have too much.
If you are applying the tape to your knee or foot (like in my situation), then make sure to bend it slightly when applying. This stops the tape from simply popping off when the joint is bent later on.
After several days the acrylic adhesive will have become quite strong, so be careful when removing the tape. Once I ripped it off quickly (thinking it would be like a band-aid) & my skin got irritated. Dr. Andrews advised to pull it off slowly & go in the direction of body hair. It’s best to apply tension between the skin & the tape, pushing the skin away from the tape rather than “pulling” the tape. Also, never ever pull the tape off in the shower! You might think it would be easier & that it would loosen it up, but it is actually worse since the skin is wet & the tape can actually rip the skin off. Ouch!
Lastly, she advised us to never use the tape on irritated skin or if you suffer from blood clots in your leg. As I had mentioned at the beginning of the post, if you have a medical condition or injury, seek professional medical help first before trying this at home.
KT Tape comes in a variety of colors. I personally like purple & pink, but that’s just me. 🙂
You can purchase KT Tape at any sporting goods store like Fleet Feet Sports, but I’ve even seen it at Big 5, Sports Chalet & online at Costco.
While we are on the subject of Fleet Feet Sports, the Encino location is hosting a Diva Night on April 16th.
They will have free wine tastings, bra fittings, massages, shopping deals, raffle prizes, runway modeling & entertainment by comedian Andy Dugan!!!
This year’s vendors include:
The Elbow Room
and much much more!!!
For more info & to RSVP to this event, click over to their Facebook Event page. I am planning on attending & hope to see you there!
Disclosure: I attended a free KT Tape clinic at Fleet Feet Sports in Encino. Though a post was not required, I wanted to share my experience. The information provided in this post is for informational & educational purposes only. Please consult your physician or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health & before trying this at home. All opinions are my own.