Many moms, and especially those who may be just getting into fitness, have a false assumption that KT Tape is only for professional athletes, but the truth is, it’s for ANYONE who moves. That means me and you! So, listen up ladies with moving bodies. When your body is overused or injured (aka what happens when you’re on the go all the dang time), your lymphatic fluids build up.
Ever noticed how sometimes you feel inflammation, swelling, or uncomfortable pressure on your muscles? That’s the fluid, you guys! The truth is, you don’t need to be a professional athlete to have that uncomfortable feeling, and you don’t need to be a professional athlete to get relief from it. Here’s where KT Tape comes in. And if you’re already asking yourself, “Heidi, do I need this?” The answer is yes!
Here are some basic ways I’m using it (and scroll down for specifics):
- Alleviate knee pain. This is a biggie. Because KT Tape is targeted towards soft tissue (muscles, tendons, and ligaments), it actually creates a cradle for your knee cap by taking pressure off your surrounding tendons.
- Alleviate back pain. It’s especially great for pregnant women, moms lifting their kiddos, and anyone with back pain.
- Desk bound? Support those painful carpal tunnel wrists.
- On your feet a lot? Get relief from that dang painful foot pain (plantar fasciatiis)
- Poor posture? Yup, it works for that too!
The list could go on because KT Tape is magical. The high-quality adhesive works by lifting the skin and decompressing the layers of fascia (a thin casing of connective tissues that surrounds and holds your muscles) so that the lymphatic fluid can move more easily instead of building up. When you think about it, it’s pretty genius, and it’s easy to use.
Plus, if you mess it up, you won’t hurt yourself. It’s just a piece of tape. You can customize and target your pain points by placing or removing it depending on where your pain is. The best part is that it’s so lightweight that it moves easily and doesn’t restrict your movement at all. It’s so comfortable you won’t even notice it’s there.
Bonus: If you have sensitive skin, you can still use it, just don’t pull it as taught when you’re placing it on your skin. It’s latex-free, and there’s a gentle tape version that’s 100% cotton, so it releases from the skin more easily.
Some of my favorite KT products featured here:
And before we get into the good stuff, here’s the really good stuff: scroll down to the bottom for details on how to win some KT Tape goodies for you and your family!
Top Everyday Ways Anyone Can Use KT Tape
Before we dig into the different ways I’m using it, I have some true-and-tried top taping tips (say that three times fast) that you’ll want to know before you even get started in order for your taping to be most effective. First, remember to trim your tape so it has rounded edges. The sharp edges will catch on clothing. After you cut your strip to the desired length, don’t peel it from the edges. You want to rip the backing paper in the middle of the strip so you don’t have to touch the adhesive. By ripping it in the middle, then folding and creasing the edges, you’ll have edges to grab on to. And most importantly: Clean your skin of any lotions, oils, etc., with a skin prep wipe or rubbing alcohol first! This will help the tape stay on your skin for up to 7 days. Some KT Tape is even waterproof. Perfect for summertime when the kids are jumping in and out of pools, sprinklers, and wherever the heck else they can cool off in AZ.
With all of these amazing ways to use KT Tape, it’s important to also think about how tight you should tape. If you’re thinking, the tighter the tape, the more support you’ll have, that’s not necessarily the case. The looser the tape, the longer it will last on your skin. You also want to consider the area you’re taping:
- If you’re taping a joint, it should be a light stretch.
- If you’re taping a muscle, it can be a more moderate stretch.
Now, on to the fun stuff. Here are the top everyday ways you can use KT Tape to alleviate pain and prevent injury.
Add support to weak zones: Tape your knees
Knee pain is THE most common issue that I was asked about when I first started using KT Tape. It’s no secret that I’ve been through my fair share of knee injuries, so taping is now a key part of my routine. Taping your knee is targeted towards the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments), and it can also:
- Create blood flow
- Reduce inflammation
- Decrease pain
When done properly, the tape creates a cradle for the kneecap, taking pressure off the patella tendon/ACL/MCL/PCL (hello, and yes, please!). It creates the same support as a brace, but it’s even more effective since it is attached to your skin.
Here are three ways to tape your knees:
- One strip (under the knee) for the most minimal support
- 2 half strips under the knee, crossing, for extra support. This is good for Osgood-Schlatter, inner knee (bursitis), and outer knee (IT band).
- Want to create a suction cup over the area of pain? Use 1 full strip and 2 crossing half strips (3 layers of overlap).
Alleviate lower back pain
Back pain is oh, so common. It can happen from occupational posture, obesity, and even depression. Think about how often in you’re life you’ve had anything from acute to chronic back pain. It’s actually one of the leading causes for activity limitation and work absence. What I love about KT Tape is it can help alleviate lower back pain, but it can also help prevent injury when you’re lifting heavy in the gym.
Here are two ways I’ve experienced back pain:
- Pregnancy: As your body changes from pregnancy, your center of gravity shifts. The shift in posture can cause lower back pain. Not to mention any nursing mom knows that back pain can be a real issue. This is partly due to posture, but it’s also due to the way you’re utilizing your body as a lever, putting pressure on the lower back. By taping your back during pregnancy and while nursing, you’re adding some additional support and alleviating the inflammation that may exist. Of course, you should always consult with your doctor throughout your pregnancy before making any changes to your routine.
- Heavy lifting (provides extra support): Here’s the thing: KT Tape isn’t going to turn you into the hulk, but it will provide you with extra support when you’re lifting heavy in the gym or lifting heavy things at home…like your kids! KT Tape relieves pressure and pain, but it can also provide proprioceptive support.
Relieve carpal tunnel + wrist pain
As more people work from home, they may not be focused on the ergonomic designs of their work space. Instead, you’re probably drawn more to the shape, shade, and overlook of that cute thing you saw while browsing the internet. Your desk might be cute, but I bet your wrists hurt. A neutral wrist is best, so anything that causes your wrist to constantly flex and extend can cause carpal tunnel. Think typing on a small laptop or sitting at a desk/chair combo that is not set at the appropriate height.
With carpal tunnel, the tunnel space narrows, which restricts the overused nerve, a result from the constant wrist movement. This can cause pain, numbness, and tingling in the wrist and forearm. When taped properly, KT Tape can reduce inflammation and swelling, and it can help support the wrist too. To tape for carpel tunnel and wrist pain, you want to put one full strip along the forearm, and then one 1/2 strip crossing where you need extra support.
Help + prevent foot pain/plantar fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is inflammation of the tissue that connects the heel to your toes, and if you’ve ever had it, you know it can be pretty dang painful. It is very prominent in the running community, but it can also happen over time if you have flat feet, a super high arch, or an abnormal walking pattern that doesn’t allow you to distribute your weight when you’re standing. Even if you don’t have PF but you’re on your feet all day (nurse, mom, etc.), you can use this taping technique for extra support to help prevent this overuse injury.
KT helps by offering support to the irritated tissue and allowing it to rest. I would recommend taping the night BEFORE a run, because it actually takes care of business even while sleeping, stimulates blood flow, and gives the tape time to adhere properly to your skin. And by alleviating some of the pain, you’ll sleep better too. Sleep is king for this queen, so that’s a win-win in my book!
Help with shoulder/posture issues
Let’s talk more about proprioceptive support. The proprioceptive system is complex, but the simplest way to describe it is it’s what gives us a sense of body awareness. I like to call it “cueing my brain,” and I actually lift with a weight belt to cue my brain to engage my core.
KT Tape does the same thing in terms of cueing, and taping in and of itself will cue your mind and help keep it aware of your posture. Plus, it can help stabilize your shoulders. For all of us who feel slumped over from time to time, KT Tape has got your back and your shoulders. 😉
Speed up healing and recovery time
Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is the pain you feel about 1-2 days after a workout. You know what I’m talking about! It’s the necessary evil as we challenge our bodies, but there are ways to speed this up. A new study found that taping speeds up muscle recovery from soreness. If that’s not enough reason to tape, I don’t know what is! Less days being sore? Yes, please!
Speaking of recovery and muscle soreness, you know I love foam rolling, and I have blogged about it for years. Adding taping to your routine is the cherry on top. You can stretch, roll, and tape all at the same time (in conjunction). Ok, maybe not at the exact same time, but you get it, you multi-tasking moms. 😉
What’s my absolute favorite way to use tape after all these years of injury and using my body? To help support my body during my workouts. So, to get the most benefits, I tape before I go to sleep so the tape has time to adhere before my morning workout. Think about it like sunscreen: You apply sunscreen before you go swimming so it has time to absorb, and it’s the same with KT Tape. Apply it before you’ll need it to work its magic.
KT Tape Giveaway!
Since I truly believe every person needs KT Tape in their life, and since I really wish I had been using it sooner, I’m doing a KT Tape giveaway! FOUR lucky winners will get a KT bundle:
- Roll of pro tape (winner chooses the color)
- Skin prep wipes
- Pain-relief gel roll-on
- Ice/heat massage ball
Enter to win by doing both of the following:
- Like my most recent Instagram or Facebook giveaway post and tag a friend!
- Comment below with what you’re most excited about when it comes to trying KT Tape. I mean, the possibilities are endless, you guys!
Giveaway ends 3/29/2021 midnight PST, and the winners will be announced on 3/30/2021.
Now, happy taping! And yes, it’s ok to become a KT mummy. It’s all in the name of recovery, right? 😉 I can’t wait to see what you guys do with the tape and how much it will help each and every person out there! We all need a little more self-love and care! Thank you, again, KT Tape, for these amazing products that are helping so many people, and for sponsoring this post!
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