To gain control of knee pains – with kinesiologic tapes
When pain and dysfunctions of the knee joint occur, various causes and structures within the knee can play a role. The joint forms the connection between the upper and lower leg. At the place where both joint surfaces meet, so-called menisci are embedded, which absorb the strain as "buffers". The knee cap (patella) with bursae in front and beneath is located at the front side. Ligaments ensure cohesion in the knee joint. At the outside and inside, there are the lateral or collateral ligaments, on the inside, there are the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. Each of these structures can be the reason for pain, for example because of over- or incorrect load, injuries and inflammation. In accidents, the structure of a ligament can be torn partially or completely, menisci can be damaged as well. Malposition and overload of the knee can lead to chronic pain and inflammation within the joint (arthritis) over time, because the knee joint structures are permanently stimulated. Inflammations of the bursae occur frequently as well. Especially in older age, an increased attrition of joint cartilages, the gonarthrosis, is common, which leads to stronger friction of the bony joint surfaces. Pronounced leg muscles can help in an early stage to compensate the symptoms and support the joint in its function.
Depending on cause and diagnosis, especially when there are acute problems and inflammations, knee pain should be treated with medicine, a specific relief through reduced strains and the use of joint bandages and – splints or cooling methods. In chronic cases, physiotherapeutic means can help. In case of incorrect load, posture correction and strength training are useful in order to establish a muscular balance and care for an ideal support of the joint. If a conservative treatment alone is not expedient, a surgery might become necessary.
When and how are kinesiologic tapes used in cases of knee pain?
Kinesiologic taping can be an effective treatment for knee pain – especially in addition to other methods. The elastic tape is easy to apply to the knee joint, because it perfectly adapts to its movements. In many cases, a stabilising and relieving effect is aimed for. Taping raises the skin slightly, which is supposed to encourage the metabolism and support the lymph flow. In addition, pain relief can often be observed. The tape also stimulates certain receptors via skin contact, which transfer information about movement and location of limbs to the central nervous system. Thanks to reaction processes, the control of muscle tension, muscle power, joint position and movement can be affected in a positive way.
Apart from gonarthrosis, kinesiologic tape can also be used to treat the following complaints:
- Tendon irritations of abductor hip muscles in the area of tendon insertions at the outside of the knee
- Tendon insertion irritations of the patellar tendon
- Swollen knee joints (as joint drainage in order to improve the lymph flow)
- Correction of the patella's location
- To support the collateral ligaments
The method how to apply the tape is adjusted to the individual problem and aim. Due to the various causes for knee pain, it is absolutely recommendable to consult a doctor. A thorough anamnesis and diagnosis is important in order to identify the structures responsible for pain. The tape needs to be used and adjusted accordingly. The individual symptoms can require each other and occur in combination – the knowledge about the interactions is therefore crucial for a successful treatment.