Using KT tape

Hi all

After putting up with months of calf problems I think I might be getting near finding an answer...touching wood while I write this!!..My daughter has always suffered with shin splints meaning hardish exercise was a no no..She has been using KT Tape and things have completely turned around.She now runs with no probs and is a changed person,so I thought id have a go.....WOW,I went on YouTube to find out how to apply the tape for calf problems,very good instructions by the the tape off ebay and started using 2 months ago.Been running around 30-40 miles a week with both calfs taped up and absolutely no probs at all..Went out tonight but stupid me only had enough tape for 1 calf,put it on my left calf and you guessed it my right calf went after about 3 miles,not bothered though,hopefully this proves the tape works for me.

Theres lots of discussions about calf problems so hopefully this thread might help some of you peeps out there in the same boat.

all the best and good luck.


  • KT Tape is a quack therapy and doesn't work.  The results you've had prove nothing.  As is often quoted on these threads.... the plural of anecdote is not data.  Your success in using it is due to other factors rather than anything the tape is doing.
  • What data are you basing your assertion on, M.ister W? I agree that one experience doesn't make a clinical trial, but accupuncture and even ultrasound are considered by plenty of people to be "quack" therapies and yet plenty more swear by them.

    Not trying to have a dig, I have a professional interest in this area so would be glad to hear your opinions and particularly any evidence/references image

    And Andy, what problems and taping technique did you use?

  • i was taped up by rock tape (same stuff basically) before brighton marathon, after months of interupted traing due to shin pain, i ran without pain (at least no pain in my shins! just my poor feet)

    I left the tape of for my gym classes the week after the marathon - Body Attack - very high impact & no pain, same for step aerobics. however since taking the tape off, i was ok for LBT, but the step left me in pain & body attack too, then today i had to leave aerobics after a gentle 20 minutes, keeping it low impact. the pain was worse than its ever been, after a stretch & massage on the power plate and and ice cold shower for my legs it eased off slightly, and have been ice massaging every few hours for the rest of the day.still in pain, so back to taking the ibruprofen tonight image

    Anyway Rocktape start selling from their UK website in a few days (hopefully, if they ever get it sorted), i'm going to buy a roll for myself & see if it wasn't just a fluke on marathon day & the few days after. I can't see how it could have been - after all if my feet were agony, there's no reason (other than the tape!) why my lower legs shouldn't have been the same.

     Is also interesting to hear that someone elses 'shin splints' type issue has been helped by the tape.

  • I can't see how some coloured tape can fix so many ailments. I'm with Mister W here.
  • neither can i cougie, which is why i want to buy a roll & try it here - do as much Body Attack, step etc in a week & see if there really is a difference.

    Rock tape is supposed to act like another layer of skin, lifting your own skin off the muscles etc, improving circulation.  (i think, i'll have to go back & check the website)

  • I haven't got time to read all the marketing but my physio used to tape my shoulder to relieve an RSI

    Same principle perhaps?    She got me to hold my should in a position then used micropore in 2inch width to hold the joint there. It was supposed to reposition and rest the joint and it worked but gave me dermatitis 

    1) Micropore is probably not as pretty but cheaper

    2) Unless you know where to tape I doubt you can have such a useful effect

    3) Mister W hates all quackery image

  • Trouble i found with micro pore & another cheaper sports tape, was it didn't stay on. i sweat heavily during exercise & i had to replace the cheaper tape after 1 class!

    The pretty coloured tape stayed in place after showers, a dip in the sea after the marathon and all that exercise/movement.  

    The physio i saw did say she didn't think it was worth taping my legs, but i thought i;d give it a try as i noticed they were going to be at the brighton marathon expo. I figured i had nothing to lose.

    With the amount of pain i'm in, short of giving up all exercise (which i am not prepared to do, given that it keeps my mental health stable) i think i would be willing to try anything - someone mentioned accupuncture today - i even started to consider that!

  • I had my knee taped and it was great apart from my allergic reaction to the glue.
  • I never thought tape would work, went to see a physio back in Jan and was referred privatly for some reason. She massaged then taped up my lower calves, (massage was very quick, have had sports massages before and it was way to quick to have done anything). She then taped up my feet and ankles, to support the pronation.

     3 weeks later the pain had totally gone! This was with the odd run inbetween (which I didn't admit to her at the time!) I was very amazed, the last time and indeed this time round (came back when I did a long run in March, long after the taping was taken off) its repetative and still recurring despite me not having run at all one week and managing just a mesely 10 minutes in total last week (and that was in 5 minute blocks).

     I did try taping this week, but the tape is not sticking to itself, keeps unpeeling itself and nothing I do seems to be helping it stick. I am thinking maybe it is better off paying for the more expensive stuff as it may stick and stay put. Has anyone found this? The problem isn't that its not sticking to me, its that its not sticking to itself once I have wrapped it over my leg once. I don't get enough compression or support from wrapping it round once.

  • mr fmr f ✭✭✭
    is this the pink stuff that james cracknell had over his calves in his race across America?
  • The tape we're talking about isn't just your average Boots/supermarket tape. Its wider and doesn't work so much on the basic of strapping & support - this is why people are dubious.

    This tape which is more expensive seems to be applied in strips rather than wrapping round, certainly for my shins that what they did. I basically had a cross/Plus symbol on both my inside legs.

    Mr F - thats the stuff, nice choice of colours & patterns!

  • The taping that a fizzio does is to support structures in your leg (or shoulder or whereve they do it).  The tape they use isn't the important bit.  Sometimes it provides compression.  Sometimes it holds a muscle in a particular place.  I'm sure if you asked a fizzio they'd explain what they're doing when they tape you.  What's important is how they place it not what tape they use.  They generally use a fabric strapping tape but they would get exactly the same result with parcel tape or duct tape.


    If KT tape is used in the same way as the strapping a fizzio would do then it will, of course, show similar benefits.  However, there is no scientific evidence that the tape will provide any other benefits.  Various studies have been done (Google them if you care) and none have shown any benefits other than those expected from normal taping and the placebo effect.  The studies do, however, show that the maximum benefits are only obtained when the tape is applied by trained clinicians which backs up Madge's second bullet point (above) and indicates that it is the placement of the tape that is important, not the tape itself.


    The upshot is... if you want to try it, save yourself some cash and use normal fabric strapping tape but either way you should be getting a fizz to apply it or at least show you how to apply it.

  • This has turned into a lively discussion.

    Whether it works or is all in the mind isnt important.

    We are all on here because were all passionate about running.Its not until youve gone through these  problems that you realise just how much you miss the buzz when you cant get out to train.

    So........if the tapes a loada rubbish then I gotta say the mind is one powerful piece of the human anatomy.

  • i had my back taped when my old fracture site flared up, couldnt tell you if it helped or not but it looked very colourful image
  • As a physio working in sport, I do a lot of taping. Most of it because it's needed for support but for some of my players the psychological boost is just as important as the physical benefits. I use zinc oxide tape and elastic adhesive tape, for different things. M.ister W is kinda right that the type of tape doesn't matter as much as the placement of it, but sometimes tape selection matters, like zinc shouldn't be used for compression tapings and micropore isn't designed as a strapping tape and therefore isn't very effective.

    I'm interested in people's thoughts and experiences because I'm thinking about doing a KT course. KT tape is expensive, but has different properties to more conventional tapes and is used in a different way to gain different effects, that's my understanding of it at least. It's not intended to be used in the same way as zinc. In terms of evidence for it, I'm aware there's not a lot of strong evidence to support it, but that can be said for plenty of other concepts that are widely used and highly regarded. 

  • Hi everyone,

    Never posted before and only started running last September but am absolutely addicted to it. Not really built for it but things have been going well lost inches and weight so happy with progres although I started really to get fitter as I have just turned 42!! and decided time was running out.

    Anyway sorry I digress I have been getting loads of shin pain the last few weeks for no real reason and I am running a 10K next Sunday!!! so panic stations set in.Kept looking on the web for exercises etc and came across KT Tape so I looked at some reviews and on Utube and decided it was worth trying so I ordered a box from Sweatshop through Runners World.

     I tried it today looked how to apply it via the utube video and I went running, on my treadmill though as the weather is awful at the mo, but I was suffering from shin splints even on the treadmill, anyway before the KT tape I couldn't run a mile without stopping with pain today I ran 5 miles!!!

    I can't tell you how brilliant this tape is image I really began to think I wouldn't be able to run as much and as far as I want to in the future but now I believe I will be able to. Don't get me wrong I have rested and been doing lots of stretch exercises but I felt nothing no pain no ache nothing. if anyone gets shin pain/shin splints I would say go for it buy KT tape and have a go!!!

    I hope I don't sound to luny and intense about this just wanted to let runners like me know there is something out there that can help.

    Thanks for listening!! 

  • I like how in these debates kinesiology tape is either a placebo "quack therapy" or the cure all we should all rush out and buy! The research can be used to prove both points as there is evidence to suggest it increases muscle strength, improves push off force, reduces pain and improves the timing of muscle contraction...but there is also evidence suggesting no difference compared to other taping techniques and a large review saying more research is needed.
    The truth is there is no definite answer. But you know what, there rarely is in medical science. Take running shoes, a whole different debate, the evidence to support the use of shoes that prevent overpronation is far from conclusive. Orthotics usage has also been questioned. The research behind stretches is mixed too, even the use of ice for injury management isn't backed up by a vast amount of clinical research. That doesn't mean we should ditch our shoes and defrost the ice pack!
    It comes down to what works for you as an individual. 
    Personally I use tape a fair bit. Kinesiology Tape for things that need an amount of movement e.g. Support for Achilles tendon and a firmer Zinc Oxide tape when stability and support is key e.g. Taping to prevent overpronation. 
    It helps to have a test to see if your tape has worked. If, for example, squatting hurts your knee, tape and then squat a few times and see if it helps. Sometimes it will immediately reduce pain, sometimes nothing will change but it's a better way to find out if it works for you than reading research or opinion pieces! 
  • Well Cougie like you I'm a cynic about these things normally but I decided to try something as everything else failed and in trying it worked for me and I can assure you it was not the placebo effect.!!!

    It may not be for everyone and like Tom Goom says there is evidence for both. Like I said earlier 'I've never posted before but just wanted to share my experience so maybe it could help someone else!!! 

    If your that passionate about running I believe its worth trying anything within reason to be able to continue with your passion!!!!!

  • All the research articles I've seen on KT tape say that it got results, but there was no evidence that what it achieved was any better than standard tape at a fraction of the cost.

    I went up to the KT tape stand at the VLM expo and asked if they had any research underway or that I hadn't come across.  Someone working on the stand with "physio" on his top said that a colleague had sent him some via email, but when I asked him if he could forward the findings to me he suddenly seemed to have lost it. He said he wasn't really into reading research, which surprised me as part of working as a physio is keeping up with the latest research - it's considered part of your professional responsibility.

    I'm always open to new research findings, but I found the guy on their stand less than convincing.

  • Hi XFR Bear,

    There has been a big review fairly recently that looked at nearly 100 studies. They concluded that there was some evidence for kinesiology tape but further research was needed (like with so many things). Link to the abstract is here;

    You need a login or Athens to view the full article I'm afraid.

    It's similar in some ways to massage in that it's widely used but the research behind it is far from convincing. Like I said earlier though, it's not all about the research!

  • Thanks Tom, I have an Athens login image
  • Rocktape is a more adhesive tape than any i've found, used it again for brighton this year (Not for shins - orthotics solved that problem, no pain since using them!) But for an unhappy knee.

    I also like the patterns Rocktape do - i'm currently sporting cow print image

  • Over the years we've taught thousands of physios both rigid taping (McConnell) and KT. Both are excellent at being pain relievers.

    The research for both is generally pretty toot - but don't throw the baby out with the bath water.

    As long as the right tape is used for the right thing and put on by the right person, then it's smiles all round. If taping (regardless of flavour) doesn't make you feel any better, then it's doing no more that acting like a plaster.

    If tape decreases your pain then it'll give you the ability to move better with greater control and consequently better alignment.

    It must be used as an adjunct to treatment and never on it's own.....well it can be, but you'll be back!
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