At the San Francisco Half-Marathon expo, I picked up a few samples of KT-Tape, which is an athletic tape that is supposed to support the muscles when taped in various ways. At the time, I was having a horrible hip pain that really could not be taped since it felt deep-seated, so I put the packets away.
Fast-forward to now, more than 6 months later. Today was my first real run since after the marathon. I tried toward the end of last week but started spasming after 1/4 mile. So to make sure my first real attempt didn't go badly and unsure of how much damage I had done to myself during the marathon, I taped up my lovely knee with KT-Tape.
Of course, I had to know how to tape it, so I looked on their website that described the different taping methods based on the condition. Now it was time for some good old self-diagnosis. It turns out that pain on the outside of the knee like I have is the all-famous iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS), one of the most common and painful running injuries. It is caused by the tight IT band, which runs from the pelvis to the tibia, creating friction at the knee. The cure? Stretching, icing, and rest. Gosh, I hate that last part. I have races to run in the not-to-distant future, so I am hoping for a relatively short healing time, even though I've technically had this injury on-and-off since the middle of February.
So that picture above is my fat leg (though to be fair, it's hard to take a pic of your own leg from that angle) taped up as shown on the website, with the intersecting parts at the "point of pain." It seemed to work, though I am not sure if resting had also helped. Anyway, the bandages are supposed to stay on for 5 days. I had pants to run in today, but that luck is basically out. So tomorrow morning's gym-goers will have to see the elaborate taping on my leg... too bad!
All in all, the tape is comfortable and comes in cool colors. It also can partially rip in half to become a "Y bandage" for various taping methods (the straight one is called an "I bandage"). I like that it adheres well and can stretch with various tension throughout, since you don't necessarily tape muscles down with a uniform tension.