Karen De Klerk - Kineso Tape Fan
Make an appointment for Monday and I'll strap your leg with some Kinesio tape to see if it helps in any way". Those were the words Richard Bricknell said to me when he overheard me telling a friend I was considering not competing in my first ever marathon because of constant knee pain whilst running.
After completing the Wales half marathon in June my husband and I decided to enter the Liverpool Marathon which would take place on 9 October.
Training was going well until middle July when, during a 56 mile cycle challenge, I experienced pain in my left knee which did not go away, even after resting it for a few weeks. My personal trainer, Chris Barker (MyLife Personal Training), identified the injury as Iliotibial band syndrome (IT band). Numerous stretching exercises and massages were done in the ensuing months in an attempt to loosen my IT band. My running schedule had become erratic as one day I would be able to run 8 miles with little or no pain, the next day I would barely be able to run 2 miles. As I had an entry for the Bristol half marathon in September I was keen to run in it. I somehow managed to finish the half marathon even though I experienced knee pain after 4 miles. I limped my way round and finished, in my view, in a respectable 2hr1min. My knee pain persisted well after the event and consequently my running schedule went to pot. I did not run for two weeks. This got me worried as the Liverpool marathon was only two weeks away.
The day before Richard overheard my conversation I had struggled to run 4 miles because of my knee pain. There was only a week left to the marathon start date. Richard explained that the Kinesio tape was a new technology used to treat orthopaedic, neuromuscular, neurological and medical conditions. It was designed to facilitate the body's natural healing process whilst allowing support and stability to muscles and joints. It sounded good and the promise of a short term fix got my attention as I was really keen to run a marathon this year. Richard taped my left leg, from above my hip all the way down to below my knee. My leg looked quite colourful, with the blue and pink tape strategically positioned. I went for a run that night and ran 6 miles with no pain. I felt optimistic.
I had my leg re-taped on the Friday before the marathon as we were travelling from Bristol to Liverpool on the Saturday. Although I knew I was fairly fit, I had not run more than 13 miles in training. I did not know how far I could run before my knee would give in. The marathon started and although I was feeling tired by 13 miles my knee was holding out. The first time I experienced constant knee pain was at 21 miles. I was pleased that my knee had held out for so long. The remaining 5 miles were painful but I knew I could finish. I shuffled along the last 5 miles but still managed to finish in a time of 4hrs41mins. I was exhausted and in pain, struggling to walk but thanking the Kinesio tape all the way. I am without a doubt that the Kinesio tape supported and stabilised my IT band, enabling me to run further before experiencing discomfort. Consequently, on the basis of my experience of Kinesio tape, I would recommend it as a short term option to anyone who sustains an injury shortly prior to a big event. A big thank you to Richard and his team.
A Happy Runner - The Running School