Knee Arthritis is a knee joint inflammation that is characterized by gradual pains around the joint. The joints may swell and cause reduced mobility of the lower limb. Knee Arthritis is frequent among the old. However, it can be found among young athletes who get involved in sports requiring extensive knee use, e.g., soccer.
Kinesiology Sports Taping, as a potential treatment, can be used to reduce pain while improving the mobility function of the Knee. Taping the knee joint will help enhance the musculoskeletal conditions of the joint, thereby accelerating the speed of recovery.
Understanding Knee Arthritis
Definition and Causes
Arthritis is knee joint inflammation that can cause gradual cartilage degeneration around the joint. This makes it difficult to move the Knee against its axis since the two bones that make the knee joint are in direct contact with each other, leading to further tear and wear of the knee joint.
As described earlier, knee arthritis is characterized by painful swelling around the knee joint, reducing mobility.
Knee arthritis can be caused by several factors, which include:
- Overuse of the lower limb in sports that apply pressure to the knee
Symptoms and Effect
The symptoms of knee arthritis vary among individuals. However, the common symptoms associated with knee arthritis are
- Gradual pain when making specific movements. Movements like climbing the stairs or standing from a chair require flexion and extension of the knee.
- Swelling or tenderness: This can occur in two forms. The swell might be hard and tough or soft and tender.
- Popping sounds: When making simple movements with your legs, like walking, the knee joints make popping sounds that the nearest person may hear.
- Poor Motion: If the arthritis worsens, movement of the knee joint will gradually move from becoming slightly impossible to move to almost not moving again.
Current Treatment Options and Limitations
There are several treatments for knee arthritis. However, most of these treatments tend to have direct or indirect consequences on the affected individual. Treatment can be done by non-invasive methods. Those are methods that do not require open knee surgery.
- Use of NSAIDS: These are strong pain relief medications like Aspirin. When used in the long term, they help to ease the pain but do not entirely heal the arthritis. It also has adverse effects like causing gastric ulcers during excess usage.
- Intra-articular injections: The use of these injections, however, is being questioned by certain authorities.
- Weight loss: This can improve and consequently heal knee arthritis. However, this is only efficient if it was caused by being overweight initially.
This is where Kinesiology Sports Tapes come to use. It is a non-invasive type of treatment with little to no consequences but improves and accelerates the healing of knee arthritis.
Kinesiology tapes are special elastic tapes used to treat or ease musculoskeletal conditions. It is a non-invasive method of treating medical conditions concerning the body’s muscles, bones, and joints.
Kinesiology sports tapes have been used in treating knee Arthritis. It helps stabilize the area by slightly applying pressure on the knee skin wrapped in the tape. It is a safe method of relieving pains and preventing permanent immobility of the knee.
Benefits of Kinesiology Taping in Managing Knee Arthritis
#1. Pain Relief
As stated earlier, using kinesiology tapes helps apply gentle pressure on the affected knee. This helps relieve the pain and ease the discomfort associated with knee arthritis.
#2. Increased Stability of the Joint
It helps align the connective tissue around the joint and helps to increase joint stability. This effect is primarily felt in people with unstable knees due to Arthritis. This also helps improve the knee joint’s range of motion while still providing the needed support to the joint.
#3. Reduction of Swelling and tenderness
The swells around the Knee as a result of Arthritis is as a result of the accumulation of pus in the joint. The pus simply indicates the immune system coming to the rescue. However, it accumulates due to poor circulation. Using kinesiology tapes on the knee joint helps to slightly raise the skin and improve circulation around the joint.
This helps the pus to be appropriately excreted and improves the supply of nutrients by the blood vessels, consequently reducing swelling.
#4. Improve Muscle Function
The use of tapes helps to relieve the stress on the Knee and allows the muscles working on the knee joint to act correctly and accurately. The tapes help in supporting the knees. Therefore, it helps to ease the stress on the muscles, thereby preventing muscle fatigue. When there is no fatigue, the muscle function around the knee joint is enhanced.
#5. Non-invasive and Cost Friendly
A significant benefit of tapes is their non-invasiveness. It doesn’t require open knee surgery, and it can be used by people whose arthritis conditions have yet to get severe enough to require surgery. It is also pocket friendly. It can be bought and used by anybody with Arthritis. It can also be obtained at affordable prices at any physical therapy store like Hampton Adams.
#6. Psychological Support
Using kinesiology tapes around the knees helps the affected individual be self-conscious when making specific movements. It helps as a reminder of the condition and helps to make movements delicate. This delicate movement eventually helps to increase the recovery rate of the knee joint.
How to Use Kinesiology Tapes on the Knee
Taping the Knee to treat Arthritis requires a unique technique. Below are the steps in applying the kinesiology tapes:
- You will need three pieces of kinesiology tape to carry this out properly
- Get a whole piece of kinesiology tape. Fold it into two, then cut the corners to a round shape. You should be left with two smaller pieces of tape.
- Take one of the half-tapes and give it an 80% stretch. Place this stretched piece of tape horizontally just below the kneecap.
- Get the second half and provide it with a similar 80% stretch. Once it is stretched, place it on top of the first half.
- Get a new tape. Choose an end of the tape and peel it off to expose the sticky part. Place the opened end just to the side of the kneecap. Peel the other parts completely while laying the tape on the thigh proximal to it, providing a 25% stretch.
- This same tape should run on the outer edge of the knee cap and be placed around the surface of the Knee. The part around the surface of the knee should be provided with a 50% stretch. This piece should run down the outer edge of the kneecap and wrap around the front of the Knee.
- Get the last piece and remove the backing off one end. Place it next to the top of the second piece on the other side of the thigh.
- Remove the backing of the remaining part slowly and gently. Place the tape on the inner part of the tight while applying a 25% stretch. This piece should run down the kneecap’s inner part and wrap around until it reaches the knee’s front. As you take the tape around the knee, apply a 50% stretch.
- To finish, rub all the tape to create a slight friction. This provides a gentle heat that helps the adhesive work properly.
Precautions When Using Kinesiology Tapes on the Knees
Use the kinesiology tapes to treat knee arthritis only after being correctly diagnosed by a medical expert. The expert can be either a medical doctor or a physiotherapist.
- Avoid staying in hot environments.
- Change your kinesiology tapes within 3-4 days regularly.
- Do not use the tapes if you sustained any open wound injury on the knee.
- Except already worn previously, ensure you dry the knees properly after showering before applying the tapes.
- Do not use the tapes if you’ve had a previous allergy to other kinesiology tapes.
Combining Kinesiology Taping with Other Treatment Approaches
The magnitude of the knee arthritis determines to a large extent if the tapes should be used in isolation or not. If it’s a severe case of knee arthritis, it is advisable to use tapes in combination with other appropriate treatment options. A medical expert will communicate these treatment options, preferably a physiotherapist.
If invasive treatments like surgery are used, use the tapes only after the surgical wounds have healed. It can be used to facilitate the healing process. Also, consult an expert before proceeding to use the tapes.
Knee Arthritis can be very uncomfortable and painful. It is also not restricted to old people, as is the common conception. It can occur to both the old and the young. Knee arthritis should not cause immobility. Ensure you diagnose it as early as possible. Also, go for regular checkups if you’ve had a history of arthritis.
After being diagnosed correctly, you can always get your quality kinesiology tapes for non-invasive treatment and management from the Hampton Adams store at affordable prices.