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Monthly Archives: March 2011

  1. How To Prevent Common Soccer Injuries

    full knee support

    Spring is here, and so is Spring Soccer Season!  With Spring soccer comes aches, pains, and even injuries for which KT Tape can help.  But if you're aware, many of these injuries can be prevented.  Dr. Donald Kirkendall on Active.com writes how to protect yourself and your kids from common soccer injuries in this article:

    A three-year survey of injuries in select youth soccer (U12 - U18) was done, and an extensive database of injuries in soccer has been developed. We have learned many things--some obvious, some not so obvious.

    For example, two-thirds of all injuries occurred to the ankle, knee, head, lower leg and foot. One obvious conclusion is first aid for games--be prepared to administer first aid for ankle and knee injuries, strained muscles, contusions, lacerations and concussions.

    Another interesting finding was the number of players who had a similar prior injury. About half the players with ankle sprains had a prior sprain, many within the same season. Competitive sport is inherently risky, but are you taking appropriate precautions against injury or re-injury?

    For example:

    • Poor flexibility and muscle tightness often are cited as risk factors in muscle strains, tendon injuries, and especially re-injuries of strained muscles. The groin, hip flexors and ankle dorsiflexors (pointing your toe up) are tight in soccer players. Don't neglect stretching.

    • Ankle sprains often occur during tackling. Sounds like technique may be an issue. Plus, over half of those with an ankle sprain will re-injure it and half of those do so within two months of the first injury. Follow the doctors' and therapists' orders about rehab. You may view a sprained ankle as a nuisance, but if you return too soon, you are putting yourself at risk for another, possibly more serious, injury--ankle or otherwise. Protection of a sprained ankle (e.g. taping or lace-up ankle supports) for a year or more has been suggested. So practice the technique. If injured, don't try to come back too early. Follow rehab orders to the letter and protect prior sprains. Your team needs you on the field, not on the sidelines.

    • The risks of non-contact knee injuries include:

    • Laxity: loose ligaments due to either prior injury or genetics
    • Muscle Imbalance: one leg being stronger than the other
    • Flexibility: People with knee injuries have pretty flexible hamstrings
    • General Motor Skills: Knee ligaments seem to tear during landing, stopping or cutting in an erect stance (straight knee and straight hip). This is especially true in females. Players (girls especially) should play with a lower center of gravity (the old "ready position") and absorb these shocks by flexing the hips and knees. Start teaching this when they are young.

    • Low endurance has been cited as an injury risk. Injuries and goals are a lot alike--they occur late in the game. In our survey, about one-fourth of all injuries occurred in the last 10 to 15 minutes of a game. Lots of injuries occur during preseason when players are unfit. The message? Arrive in shape, and improve on it as best you can so you don't tire as much late in the game.

    • Soccer skill is also a factor in injury. The poorer skilled players suffer more injuries. You may find skill work as dull, but you know that the better-skilled players are injured less frequently.

    • Foul play has been implicated in injuries, as up to one-third of traumatic soccer injuries were due to foul play; sometimes to the "foul-er" and sometimes to the "foul-ee." The most skilled and fittest players are better able to avoid these collisions.

    • Middle-school-age boys are at a special risk. Height comes faster than muscle growth. The tall, weak boy gets injured more often than the shorter, less mature or the older more mature. That in-between period is the problem.

    To read Dr. Kirkendall's further recommendations on how to prevent soccer injuries, and to read his entire article, visit Active.com.

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  2. Tearing Up Tape at the National Marathon Expo

    dr amy national marathon 2This weekend the KT Tape team tore up the tape for marathon and half marathon runners at the National Marathon Expo in Washington, DC.  We were joined by Nova Pain and Rehab Chiropractor Dr. Amy Grabowski, who specializes in chiropractic, athletic rehab, and sports injury prevention in Arlington, VA and is a spokesperson for the American Chiropractic Association. 


    The most popular KT Tape application requested at the expo was for that nagging knee pain, but we also taped a ton of plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, shin splints, and IT Bands

    dr amy national marathonCongratulations to all the athletes who finished the race despite the record cold temperatures- we’ll see you there next year!

    If you were a registered participant of the race, click on this link to take the 2011 NATIONAL MARATHON POST RACE SURVEY.

    To view the preliminary race results, click here.

    To find the Nova Pain and Rehab Clinic nearest you, visit the KT Tape Clinic Locator or visit the Nova Pain and Rehab website.

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  3. Knee Pain Holding You Back? Easy Stretches for Bad Knees

    full knee supportThe KT Tape Full Knee Support application is by far the most popular KT Tape application requested at events by our customers.  In conjunction with KT Taping, stretching can go a long way in providing additional relief. Check out Livestrong.com where these stretches for bad knees were recently featured:

    Stretches for Bad Knees- Overview

    Injuries and conditions such as arthritis are common causes of knee problems and pain. But in some cases, knee injuries can be related to tight muscles in your thigh, hips and calves. Tight leg muscles stress your knee joints and pull them out of proper alignment. Left untreated, stiff muscles can lead to the need for surgery or even disability. Stretches are effective ways to increase muscle flexibility and relieve knee symptoms.

    Quadriceps Stretch

    The quadriceps muscles at the front of your thigh provide essential stability to your knees. The patella, or kneecap, is embedded in the tendon of the quadriceps muscle, which means the muscle plays a key role in enabling the patella to track properly along the femur bone in your thigh. When the quadriceps muscles are too tight, they increase stress on the patella, which can lead to conditions such as patellar tendonitis and patella pain. To stretch this muscle, stand while holding on to an object for support such as a chair. Plant your left leg firmly into the ground and bend your right knee to bring your right foot up towards your buttocks. Pull your right foot with your right hand until you feel a stretch at the front of your thigh. Hold the stretch for 10 to 30 seconds. Return to a standing position and repeat with your left leg.

     Hamstring Stretch

    Tight hamstring muscles at the back of your thigh can contribute to knee disorders such as patellofemoral syndrome. They also force the quadriceps muscle to work harder, which increases your risk of kneecap pain. To loosen your hamstring muscles, begin by sitting on the ground with your legs outstretched in front of you. Bend your left knee to place your left foot against the inner side of your thigh. Lean forward from your hips to reach as far forward as you can until you feel a stretch at the back of your thigh. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and then return to a sitting position. Repeat with your other leg.

     Iliotibial Band Stretch

    The iliotibial band --- a tendon-like structure attached to the tensor fasciae latae --- runs along the outside of your thigh and rests just below the knee. When the iliotibial band becomes tight, it pulls the joint of alignment so that it causes friction, inflammation and pain along the outside of the knee. This condition is known as iliotibial band syndrome and is a common form of knee pain. To begin an iliotibial band stretch, stand with your arms at your side and cross your left leg behind your right leg, bringing your left foot as far forward as you can. Without leaning forward, bend over to your right toward your left foot, which is behind you. You should feel a stretch along the outside of your left thigh. Hold for 10 to 30 seconds and then return to a standing position. Repeat the stretch with your other leg.

    To view the complete article and read more about these knee stretches, visit the LIVESTRONG website here.

    Click on the links for KT Tape applications for Quadriceps Strain, Hamstring Strain, and IT Band Syndrome.

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  4. Secrets for Spring Cycling Training

    rebecca

    Spring training season is here!  For KT Tape cycling fans, getting back into spring training means extra aches and pains, and extra KT Tape!

    In this article, Joe Friel of Velonews shares his secrets on how to make the most of those aches and pains in your spring training.  In his Active.com article “The Ten Commandments of Training,” Friel explains the training philosophy that will ensure the highest return on your training investment.

    Here is my training philosophy: An athlete should do the least amount of properly timed, specific training that brings continual improvement.

    The idea of limiting training is a scary thought for some. Many cyclists have become so accustomed to overtraining it seems a normal state. These racers are no less addicted than drug users. As is the case with a drug addict, the chronically overtrained athlete is not getting any better but still can't convince himself or herself to change.

    My basic philosophy is simply "use your training time wisely." For those of us with full-time jobs, spouses, children, a home to maintain, and other responsibilities, using training time wisely is more than a philosophy; it's a necessity.

    What this means is that there are times when it's right to do higher-volume training, but not necessarily the highest possible. This is usually in the Base (general preparation) period of training. There are also times when high volume is not wise, but faster, more race-specific training is right. These are the Build and Peak (specific preparation) periods.

    While it seems so simple, there are many who can't seem to get it right. They put in lots of miles when they should be trying to get faster. And when they should be building a base of general fitness, they're going fast—usually in group hammer sessions.

    So what do you use to gauge your progress? How tired you are? How fast you are? If it's the former, you're doomed to a career of less-than-stellar racing. Once you figure out that fatigue gets in the way of getting faster and you make the necessary changes, you'll be flying.

    To help you better understand this training philosophy I have broken it down into the "Ten Commandments of Training." By incorporating each of these guidelines into your thinking and training, you'll be following this philosophy and getting a better return on your time invested. Your results will also improve regardless of your age or experience.

    1. Train Moderately

    Your body has limits when it comes to endurance, speed and strength. Muscles will only contract forcefully a certain number of times before they refuse to pull hard again. The biggest mistake of most athletes is to make the easy days too hard, so when it comes time for a hard training day, they can't go hard enough.

    By progressing carefully, especially with intensity, you'll gradually get stronger and there will be time and energy for other pursuits in life. An athlete who enjoys training will get more benefits from it than one who is always on the edge of overtraining.

    2. Train Consistently

    The human body thrives on routine, and regular activity brings positive change. This does not mean do the same workout every day, week after week. Variety also promotes growth. This is not to say that you shouldn't do hard workouts or that it isn't necessary to push the limits on occasion and experience fatigue as a result.

    It's obvious that if coming close to your riding potential is your goal, you must often face and conquer training challenges. Training consistently, not extremely, is the route to the highest possible fitness and your ultimate racing performances. The key to consistency is moderation and rest.

    3. Get Adequate Rest

    During rest, the body adapts to the stresses of training and grows stronger. Without rest, there's simply no improvement. As the stress of training increases, so does the need for rest. When we sleep, our body releases human growth hormone, and it mends and grows stronger.

    If our time spent snoozing is shortened, it takes us longer to recover and our consistency in training suffers. Damaged cells take longer to heal, raising the risk of injury and illness. If the training workload remains high despite decreased sleep time, overtraining becomes a real threat. Burnout is lurking just around the corner.

    4. Train With a Plan

    This is fundamental to improvement in almost any endeavor of life, yet few self-trained athletes do it. Realize that all plans can be changed. Yours will not be chiseled into stone. It takes some flexibility to cope with the many factors that will get in your way. These may include a bad cold, overtime at work, unexpected travel, or a visit from family or friends.

    I have yet to coach an athlete who didn't have something interfere with the plan. Expect it, but don't be upset. Roll with the punches and change the plan to fit the new situation.

    5. Train With Groups Infrequently

    There's a real advantage to working out with others—sometimes. For the winter base-building period, find a group that rides at a comfortable pace. During the spring intensity-building period, ride with a group that will challenge you to ride fast, just as when racing.

    Smart and structured group rides are hard to find. You may need to create your own. Stay away from big packs that take over the road and are unsafe. You want to get faster, not get killed. Use groups when they can help you. Otherwise, avoid them.

    For the rest of Joe’s “Ten Commandments” and to view the entire article, click here.

    For instructions on how to tape for Spring training aches and pains, visit KT Tape Instructions.

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  5. Can You Be An Olympic Swimmer AND Olympic Water Polo Athlete?

    mens water polo

    The Counter Attack is the official podcast of KT Tape sponsored athletes: the USA Water Polo National Team. This episode features two time Olympic Gold Medalist in swimming at the  1996 Games and a member of the water polo squad at the 2000 Olympic Games, Brad Schumacher.

    In this epidsode Brad discusses the new relationship between USA Water Polo and his company TURBO. He also touches on club water polo with SET as well as his time winning two Gold Medals in swimming at the 1996 Olympics and competing in water polo at the 2000 Olympics. Brad also talks about his attempt to swim and play water polo at the same World Championships and if we'll ever see an athlete do the same at an Olympics.

    Click here to tune into this episode of The Counter Attack!


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  6. 24 Hour Fitness Chooses KT Tape!

    24 hour fitness

    KT Tape is now available at select 24 Hour Fitness locations throughout the United States! 

    With approximately 3 million members, 24 Hour Fitness is the world’s largest physical fitness center chain in terms of memberships with over 400 club locations in the United States and numerous clubs abroad in Asia as well.

    24 Hour Fitness is also famous for its role in developing the reality show, The Biggest Loser, where contestants compete to lose weight over a period of months for cash and other prizes.

    To find the 24 Hour Fitness location nearest you carrying KT Tape, visit the KT Tape Store Locator.

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  7. Thaw Your Winter Muscles with Spring Hiking and KT Tape

    hiker

    Spring is here!  With the warmer weather of spring, thaw out those winterized muscles with KT Tape and get back into shape by hiking.  Check out the article below from Active.com on getting back into shape through hiking this Spring, and visit the Top 50 Hikes in the United States website for a place to start near you!

    Get Fit With Hiking

    Feel exhilarated as you get in touch with nature and become more fit--it's all right outside your door.

    No matter if you plan a short hike or a longer excursion, there are steps you can take to make your adventure a success. "One of the best things you can do to ensure a great hike is to plan ahead," says Todd Galati, certified personal trainer with the American Council on Exercise. Here's how:

    Train for Success

    A relatively short hike--one to two hours--might not require a lot of training, but a longer hike means a different kind of preparation.

    Do some extra legwork. Hiking can tax your muscles if they're not well conditioned. And although it may seem easier, going downhill can be harder on muscles than going up. Consider a little extra quad, hamstring, glute and calf muscle work at the gym to minimize muscle fatigue during and after your hike.

    • Use the leg press machine at the gym to strengthen quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves.
    • Do some hamstring curls with a stability ball. Lie on the floor with your calves on top of the ball, your upper back and shoulders on the floor and your arms out to the sides. Raise your hips and your lower back off the ground so they form a straight line with your legs. Keeping your abs tight, pull the ball toward your butt by digging your heels into the ball until your feet are flat and your knees and butt are high in the air. Pause then push the ball away from you until your legs are straight. 
    • Do some lunges to strengthen glutes, hamstrings, calves and quads.

    For more Spring hiking fit tips and to read the entire article, click here.

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  8. To Tape Or Not To Tape? KT Tape Expert Answers the Question.

    advance article

    Clay Sniteman, KT Tape Medical Advisory Board Member, co-authored this article for ADVANCE for Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine titled “Sticking Points”, with step-by-step tips and techniques for physical therapists working with common sports injuries.  Enjoy the excerpt below, but to read the entire article, click here.

     Athletic Taping

    To tape or not to tape? That is the question. Actually, it's only part of the question-once the decision is made to tape an injury, how and what kind of tape becomes a major issue. Because of the myriad tapes on the market, confusion reigns.

    While many types of tape have done a good job in the past, there are new forms of elastic tape on the market that can be stretched 40 percent beyond its original length, which allows the tape to move with the skin and not be restrictive. New models also feature heat-sensitive adhesive, so you can apply it to the skin by simply rubbing the tape.

    Some brands can be worn in water and used for extended periods of time. When applied correctly, it can work very well over a weekend.

    On the technical side, newer forms of kinesiotape not only provide proprioception, but also assist in decreasing pain, removing ecchymosis, helping edema reduction and assisting in biomechanical alignment for shoulders, feet and knees. This tape can be applied every day on world-class athletes, the elderly and even children.

    But as with everything, with athletic kinesiotaping there's a right and wrong way to apply it. The key is that depending on the patient, there are many shapes and patterns that can be made. The most common pattern is the "I" or the "X" (by cutting down the middle of tape on both ends).

    These patterns are best for inhibition, facilitation or painful areas. The other two most common shapes are the "V" and the "Fan," which are used for swelling, inflammation and edema...

    For clinical details on taping applications for physical therapists, click here.  Read below for more tips on taping techniques from "Sticking Points":

    ....When dealing with professional athletes, the pragmatic "go-slow" concept is thrown out the window, as players often have to get back on the court or field in minimum time. They simply will not wait until an injury is healed, given the "play or don't get paid" reality-whether it be for a major event such as Wimbledon, or a relatively minor tournament.

    Consequently, circumstances often drive the aggressiveness of the treatment, and even how the tape is applied.

    When this happens, it can't be stressed enough that you must check and recheck the tape to ensure that it hasn't slipped, the tension has not increased due to swelling, or that the athlete has pulled at the tape. More than once, the "perfect" taping job has to be done over or modified.

    Taping is beneficial in aiding proper osteokinematics and arthrokinematics of the joints. Newer forms of tape can be used on all types of patients, whether world class athletes or the elderly. This newer elastic tape has overcome many of the limitations of the restrictive tape that has been with us for so long. 

    Clay Sniteman is physical therapist and athletic trainer at Weber State University, Ogden, UT, a member of the KT Tape Medical Advisory Board, and a traveling physical therapist for the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP). Joel Bass is head athletic trainer and a faculty member at Weber State University.

    To read the entire article, click here. 

     

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  9. "No More Nagging Knee Pain... Thanks, KT Tape!"

    andre zollars

    Guest writer Andre Zollars, avid cyclist and president of Prairie Winds in Montana, recounts her initial skepticism but ultimate conversion to the powers of KT Tape:

    Running has always been my passion, but last summer I rediscovered cycling. Given a hand-me-down time trial bike, I started riding with a group of guys in town. We started out doing 15-to-20 miles rides, but eventually built up to 30+ and a century ride over a weekend. I was hooked and before the end of summer, ordered a new top-of-the-line road bike for myself. Montana winters are long, and I’ve spent it all on a kinetic trainer, hovering between 80 and 100 miles a week.  Recently, I was rewarded for my hard work with the arrival of my new Fuji Supreme 1.0 road bike. To say it’s beautiful would be an understatement. The sleek tapered carbon silver, white and burnt orange frame reminds me of the classic Porsche 911. It is graceful, sleek, and built to tear up the pavement. I’m dying to get out on the road with it.

    My goal this summer is to ride at least one century, and possibly as many as three. But, that will depend on how my body holds up. I’ve tweaked my diet, adjusting it to suit my workout and that’s all gone well. The only thing that I am worried about holding me back is nagging knee pain. I don’t know how many years ago, but at least five, I discovered I could no longer run on pavement. After years of running, my knees were begging me to stop. So, I became solely a trail runner. They still act up on occasion, but are usually OK with some ibuprofen and icing. Now, after upping my mileage to 80+ a week on the trainer, my right knee is beginning to complain again. The pain is migrating from the inside to the front to the outside of the knee, making it impossible to diagnose.

    After years of icing and ibuprofen, I decided to pursue preventative measures. After some research, I settled on KT Tape. I’d seen the pro beach volleyball players using it and it seemed to be growing in popularity. I liked that it was easy to use, inexpensive, and didn’t go inside my body. A purist, I rarely take medications unless it’s an absolute must. I reviewed the KT Tape directions online and settled on the application for general knee pain. I figured I’d try that first and go from there. Applying the tape was easy, following the online tutorial. I did have to wash my legs first to ensure the tape would stick to my skin.

    Afterwards, I hopped on the bike without any real expectations. I set my goal for an hour on the bike and figured I’d see how it went. It became clear after my first hard effort ten minutes into the ride that my knee was supported and would be able to take much more than without the tape. I didn’t want to push it too hard, but it was encouraging so I amped up the workout, doing three minute intervals at 70-75% of MHR alternating with two minute intervals at 85-90% of MHR.  As I progressed halfway into my workout, I was feeling confident in the support the KT Tape was giving my knee, but less so about its ability to hold throughout the workout. Inside, on a trainer, you sweat quite heavily and I was sure the tape would give before I did. It didn’t seem to be affected by the sweat, however, and held throughout the duration of my 60 minute, 20 mile ride.

    The KT Tape packaging said that it would hold for up to five days, but I had found that hard to believe on a cyclist. The leg motion I felt sure would not only knock it loose, but also prove too much for it to support. I was wrong on both counts. When I was done, I had no knee pain and the tape was still securely on my leg. Instead, I found myself immediately online looking for how to apply KT Tape to correct neck and shoulder pain – the result of working on a computer all day.

     Thanks KT Tape for giving me a simple, cost-effective solution to nagging knee pain from cycling. I look forward to using you in other applications and getting the same awesome results!

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  10. Clinic Feature: Evolution Physical Therapy, Los Angeles

    tara pollack video

    Tara Pollack, of Evolution Physical Therapy in Los Angeles, CA, demonstrates how to use KT Tape for arch support in this Evolution PT video

    In addition to a range of rehabilitative services and offerings, Evolution Physical Therapy offers innovative new technologies such as the  G-Trainer anti-gravity treadmill, which enables users to reduce their effective body weight during exercise to continue training during injury recovery, outdistance conditioning limitations, and build endurance.

    And for new moms or mommies-to-be, Bebe PT specializes in giving relief to pre-and postnatal aces with personalized, hands-on care.

    Evolution Physical Therapy also founded the Extra Mile Club, a group of dedicated runners of all levels who push themselves the 'extra mile' through distance runs, RAS (run and stretch) classes, and compete in events together.  

     You may see members of the Extra Mile Club with the KT Tape Team this weekend at the Los Angeles Marathon Expo- come by Booth #607 for free taping and KT Tape samples! 

    To learn more about Evolution Physical Therapy or to make an appointment, visit the KT Tape Clinic Locator or the Evolution PT website.

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