Life with MS & EDS

June 8, 2010

Kinesio Tape – Ankles

Filed under: Uncategorized — by mseds @ 8:50 pm
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When Little Sister was about a year old, her physical therapist had just taken a course on kinesio tape (a flexible, cotton strip with a very mild adhesive.)  We decided to try it on her stomach to see if it would help improve her muscle tone in her abdomen.  While it took a while for her to be able to sit on her own, we knew the kinesio tape was helping.  It was the strangest thing, but it even helped her constipation problems. We continued taping for about a year.  I got really good at taping her stomach.  We even used it on her legs.  Once she started moving around on her own, we stopped using it and threw the remainder of the large, expensive roll of tape into her closet.

I was looking in her closet last week and noticed the tape sitting on the top shelf.  I got to thinking.  What if kinesio tape could help my collapsing ankles?  I had the tape.  Why not give it a try?  So, I brought it with me to the chiropractor this week on the off chance he knew something about it.  Thankfully he did!  He taped my ankles and showed me how to do it.  He explained that the idea is to run the tape along the muscles.  Strengthening the muscles will help stabilize the joints.  That’s what seems to be a key component in managing Ehlers-Danlos.

The idea is to apply the tape starting at the ankle muscle to stimulate the muscle and run the tape up the leg.  For my application, we cut a strip of the tape approximately 7 inches for the front of my leg and 10 for the back of my leg.  Cut the strip down the middle, but keep the bottom 2-3 inches intact (see the picture below.)  Pull the backing off the tape from the bottom part and place it on the achilles part of the back of your ankle (you may need someone to do the back part for you, but the front is easy to do on your own.)  Then peel the backing off the cut strips and run them up the legs as shown below.  Make sure the tape is smooth.  You don’t want any bumps. For the front, place over the muscle in the front of the ankle.  Follow the nevicular (the nobby part on the outside of your ankle) around to the front of your foot.  The bottom of the tape should be slightly below there.

The down side of the 5 year old tape I have is that it’s not very sticky (not that kinesio tape is particularly sticky to begin with.)  This is great for my extremely sensitive skin, but it peels off pretty quickly.  I expect to be doing the taping every 1 – 2 days.  It’s easy to do, so I don’t mind.  I hope it will be worth it and that I’ll be able to walk around without my ankles giving out.  I’ll let you know if I see any improvement!

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