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28 March 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Back of the thigh- step 1

In this post we’re going to show you a taping application to decrease pain and swelling in the back of the thigh/hamstring area. It is best used during the first 1-7 days post injury (aka the acute phase) and is great to use following a hamstring muscle strain, tear, or contusion. For these injuries, typical symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and in some cases a muscle spasm in which the injured muscle reflexively tightens to protect itself from further damage.

(NOTE: use common sense here. Pain, swelling, and bruising is worth a visit to your MD for several reasons. At the very least it will allow for assessment of severity (is there a tear? if yes, how big?). It will also help assess for/rule out anything more serious.)

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.

Technique #1- Swelling + Bruising

The basic idea of this application is that you anchor one end of the tape down and then use it’s 4-5 little fingers to lift the skin and pull the underlying swelling towards that anchor. For the back of the thigh, you will want to position the anchor up towards the back of the hip/glute. This will help move the swelling towards the lymph nodes and ultimately back up towards the trunk.

You will need to create two identical strips for this application. Here is a sample piece with a 1-2 inch anchor and five strips:

In the video below you will find directions for how to determine the tape length, cut the strips, and most importantly how to apply it to the back of the thigh.

Key points:

  • You will need to move the hamstring into a stretch position before applying the tape. This means straightening the knee and flexing the hip. A great way to do this is by leaning forward like you are trying to touch your toes. Be sure to keep the knee straight and heel down. If this is too much, you can lay on your stomach and hang your leg off the side so that the hip can come forward and the knee can straighten. You can also lay on your back and use a belt/stretching strap.
  • Once in the stretch position, you will have an anchor portion with 4-5 little strips. Tear the tape as shown in the video and apply the anchor first. Then spread the little strips out over the swollen, painful area without adding stretch.


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.

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