I wanted to share with you a quick and easy way that I use kinesiology tape for patients with knee pain. Many knee taping techniques use multiple strips of tape (usually of different lengths) and take time to prep & put on and are hard for patients to replicate. This technique, however, uses only 1 piece of tape (so it uses less tape) and can be cut & applied in less than a minute by you or someone else. This isn’t the only technique I use for knee pain, but it is by far the most common one I use and the first one I try out.
I learned this technique from Dr. Perry Nickelston at a Rocktape course and he calls this technique the “Smash and Grab.” I try it on patients with any type of knee pain (patellofemoral pain, patella tendinitis, general/vague knee pain, post-surgical pain, etc.) and/or ROM limitations – it really is that versatile. I especially like it because it’s easy for patients to apply themselves. It works by providing a constant novel feedback to the brain via stimulating the skin mechanoreceptors (thus reducing the perception of threat) and sometimes this is all a patient needs to feel/move better.
I use Rocktape kinesiology tape as I think it is the best tape on the market right now. Here is a description of how to apply this technique to yourself:
First, perform a movement that would typically give you pain so you remember how it feels
Measure out how much tape to use by laying it out over your knee and then cut the desired length – make sure to round the edges (makes it less likely to peel up).
Then sit on a chair with your knee in about 90° flexion
Rip the tape in the middle and apply that over the lower portion of your patella tendon/tibial tuberosity area (bump on the front of your shin)
Then lay one side of the tape along the pattern as shown above (make sure you don’t stretch tape – just lay it on skin)
Repeat for the other side
Rub tape with your hands to help the adhesive stick
Finally, perform that same movement you did before you applied the tape and see if it is any better
Patients (and sometimes myself) are amazed at how this simple technique helps reduce their pain and/or move better. If you have knee pain, why not give it a shot!