Taped up

I don’t think I’ve mentioned how much I lean on kinesio tape to stay functional. You probably have seen the multicolored strips on professional athletes — I had no idea how popular it was until I saw commercials for the Olympics.

Hard to describe, but it’s kind of like an Ace bandage that stays on your skin. If you hurt something, the kinesio tape takes the pressure away from the inflamed area, lessens the pain and allows you to heal faster. The shit is like gold to me – and you can leave it on for days. When my arms and hands are really bad, taping is the only way I can type.

Anyway, as I mentioned, I sprained my knee a couple of weeks ago. Thanks to the tape, though, I stayed much more functional and had turned the corner to where it was more of a minor ache. I was meeting someone the other night; I’d taken a shower and decided to quickly change the tape before I went out, since it was four days old and losing some stretch.

Well, I didn’t really pay attention. And within a half hour or so, my entire leg started to hurt. Within an hour, I was limping. By the time I went to bed, my entire leg was in a deep spasm and hurt so bad, I could hardly sleep.

Fortunately, I had a physiatrist appointment the next morning, and as I was getting dressed, I noticed that the kinesio tape looked… off. I’d put the tape off on the side of my knee instead of across my quads. Hmm.

When I limped into his office, my doctor said, “What did you do now?” I told him either my Bakers cyst has returned, or I’d taped myself into this mess. He examined me and said, “Yep, I think it was the tape. It’s as if all your muscles were pulled to one side. But of course, it can’t be the tape because I just heard a talk by two top orthopedists and they said it didn’t do anything, it was all a placebo effect. So this pain is all in your head.”

After some rather painful acupuncture to break the spasm, I’m about 50 percent better today. From now on, I won’t ever tape-and-run!

If you have chronic pain (arthritis, etc.), I strongly recommend this stuff. YouTube has lots of videos explaining how to do it. (If only I’d listened.)