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:
- Immediately after injury (for swelling and pain)
- During the healing process (correction techniques to restore normal position and allow for healing)
- Techniques to help improve strength + function
In this post, we’ re going to be talking about a taping application designed to decrease the amount of pull along the front of the thigh where the quadricep muscles are located. This is perfect following a muscle strain to provide support and allow for rest so that the injured muscle/tendon can heal.
When looking at the front of the thigh there are four quadricep muscles. They are the vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF), vastus intermedius (VI; located under the RF) , and the vastus medialis oblique (VMO). All four muscles originate along the top of the femur (except the RF which crosses the hip joint) and travel down the thigh to form a common insertion at the patellar tendon.
You can read more about the anatomy in this area and find palpation tips here.
What you will need:
1) Roll of kinesiology tape.
2) Sharpest scissors in the house.
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.
1) Standard thigh/quad taping application with optional correction strip.
- Prep the skin first. For this application you will want to put the quad muscles on stretch. To do this, lay on your side and pull the leg back while bending the knee. The quads cross both the hip and knee joint so it is important to stretch the muscle out over both.
- The primary strip will be anchored at the top of the thigh. From here, position your leg to put the muscle on stretch and then apply the tape. The tape works by pulling on itself and you have already put the muscle on stretch to do the work for you. If you are unable to move the muscle into this position, you may add a small amount of stretch to the tape.
- 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.
Here is what the final tape job looks like:
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.