IT Band

As you may recall from our intro post on kinesiology taping, we’re going to focus on each muscle group/joint and show you how to use kinesiology tape in three distinct ways:

  1. Immediately after injury  (for swelling and pain
  2. During the healing process (correction techniques to restore normal position and allow for healing)
  3. Techniques to help improve strength + function

In our last post, we reviewed a taping application for a common hot-spot on the inside of the knee called the pes anserine. In this post, we’ re going to be talking about a taping application designed to decrease the amount of pull on the IT Band. This is perfect for recovering muscles and tendons where you want to provide support and allow for rest so that the injured muscle/tendon can heal.

This type of application is called an inhibition technique. The key for using it is to use the anatomy! Remember, the tape is specifically made to pull on itself. That is what the weird spirals and shapes are when you look at the back of the tape. When trying to inhibit the muscle, you want the tape to move from the muscle insertion to origin so that when the tape pulls on itself, it results in an eccentric pull (eccentric = lengthening of the muscle). This is ideal for trying to diminish the contraction which will allow for rest and more importantly recovery.

Muscle origin & insertion

The ITB is a thick fibrous band that runs from the outside of the hip, all the way down the outside of the thigh to insert just below the knee joint on the tibia. More specifically, as you can see in the picture above, it starts from fibers of the gluteus medius (GM) + Tensor Fascia Latae (TFL) and inserts onto the Tibia (larger lower leg bone, the smaller is the fibula). As the IT Band inserts below the knee, it splays out some sending fibers to the knee cap, as well as, the hamstring muscles (these are represented by the blue lines in the picture above). You can read more about the anatomy of this area and palpation tips here.

Origin: Greater trochanter

Insertion: Gerdy's tubercle (tibial bone between the knee cap and fibular head).

What you will need:

1) Roll of kinesiology tape

2) Sharpest scissors in the house.

Prep work:

1) Clean skin. This means no oils or lotions of any kind. You want your skin to be clean and more importantly dry. Moisture of any kind = tape will fall off or fail to stick altogether.

2) Hair care. Ideally, the less hair the better. Guys, this means that for best results you will need to trim any long leg hair or shave the calf area.

3) If clean, dry, and hairless skin still = no sticking of tape. Time to get some adhesive spray like Tuf Skin.

4) The tape should last 3-5 days. You can get it wet and shower with it on. Just towel dry it after. No hair dryer! The tape is heat activated. ;)

Taping Techniques

1) ITB (inhibition technique with correction strip)

Key Points:

  • The tape must run from the muscle insertion to origin. In the case of the ITB this means from it's insertion on the tibia (between the knee cap and fibular head) and up the outside of the thigh towards the hip.
  • Prep the skin first and then place the muscle on stretch. For the ITB this means having the knee extended and the hip adducted. To do this, lay on your opposite side and bring the whole leg back some until you can drop it down behind the other while keeping the knee straight. See the video above for a visual.
  • Apply primary strip WITHOUT tension. The tape works by pulling on itself. Lay the anchor down first (last 1-2″ of the tape), apply the tape and then rub the tape to warm up and activate the adhesive.
  • A secondary correction strip can be applied to any specific sore spots. Cut the tape so that it is long enough to cover the painful area with 1-2″ of tape on either side (these are your anchors and must be applied without stretch). Round the edges, apply 50-75% stretch and place the tape. Then remove the paper backing and lay down the ends. Don’t sweat the 50-75%. Think medium stretch versus maximum “how far can I pull this tape” kind of stretch.
  • See the video above for full details.

References

1) Capobianco, Dr. Steven and van den Dries, Greg. (2009). Power Taping, 2nd Edition, Rock Tape Inc, Los Gatos, CA.

2) Hammer, Warren. (2007). Functional Soft-Tissue Examination and Treatment by Manual Methods, 3rd edition. Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc, Sudbury, MA.

3) Kase, Kenzo, Wallis, Jim, and Kase, Tsuyoshi. (2003). Clinical Therapeutic Applications of the Kinesio Taping Method.

4) Muscolino, Joseph. (2009). The Muscle and Bone Palpation Manual. Mosby, Inc, St. Louis, MO.