I’ve been a little hard on my body lately; early in the year I went from being fairly inactive to working out hard – including taking long hikes. It’s not a shock at my age and weight that my body began to protest, and a few weeks ago I wrenched my left knee something awful, and it’s really been slowing my down.
I’ve alternated resting and working out at the gym doing stuff that doesn’t strain the knee, but if I have to walk or stand for a while (or if I try to sneak in a hike because hiking is my favorite exercise), my knee really aches.
I have tried to find a brace to see if it would help, but, and this is a little embarrassing, I’ve had trouble finding one that fits my plus sized legs. I’ve used an ace bandage a few times but it hasn’t really helped.
But then I ran into Kristi (who blogs at Orange Dragonfly), an incredibly inspirational running gal, and she had all this weird colored tape on her shoulder. It looked like a strange combination of surgical tape and what I still call “vet wrap” from being a vet tech. I asked her about it, and she exclaimed gleefully, “It’s kinesiology tape!” I’d never heard of it, but she told me that it was an amazing alternative to things like braces and told me to check it out.
The next time I was at the drug store I spied a whole batch of this brand of the tape, so I bought some (in black, of course, because it matches my clothes but apparently that might have been a mistake because the different colors have different uses). I spent some time watching the tutorials, and then I applied it to my knee (and the back of my knee because most of the pain is back there.
I only did this last night, but the first thing I noticed is that I had ZERO pain overnight. Usually I toss and turn and then my knee pangs painfully and I wake up. I slept so well last night. Then today I woke up and did my usual Saturday housecleaning, and then I helped my mother move more of her stuff over to her apartment. Then I went to Kmart and stood in line for 45 minutes behind folks with huge carts of back to school supplies (hey, school starts this week here), and I STILL have no pain.
AMAZING. And I’m not even sure I did it right!
So how does it work? The tape is kind of like a stick-on ace bandage (sorta). You can read a long explanation here, but the theory is basically is relieving muscle strain by supporting those muscles. All I know is I feel better.
This news is too good not to share. I feel like it’s so easy to have impediments to getting healthy and working out, and it’s nice to know there’s a simple thing that can help.
Of course, I feel compelled to mention that I’m not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, and this is not meant to be construed as any sort of medical advice. If you have prolonged pain, you should probably see a doctor. (Although if yours is like mine she’ll say, “You’re old and fat and need to go more slowly.” I may have paraphrased that a bit. Ahem.)