Kerri Walsh Jennings is the beautiful, strong face of beach volleyball. For nearly two decades, she and her U.S. teammates have dominated the sport, winning national, world, and Olympic titles. The official uniform of beach volleyball is pretty sparse – usually a tight two piece for the women or beach jams for the guys, a hat to absorb heat, and sunglasses to reduce glare and protect the eyes from errant sand. No shoes, socks, shoulder pads or faceguards. With as little as she wears to win gold, Kerri will never hit the beach without her KT tape. “It’s always in my bag,” she says. “KT tape works and it makes me feel supported. As a busy athlete and a busy mommy, I need that.”
Perhaps you have seen athletes wearing bright tape on different parts of their bodies. At the 2018 Winter games, U.S. Olympic ice skater Mirai Nagasu caused a sensation when she competed with what appeared to be a large “USA” tattoo on her lower hip and upper thigh. What Olympians Kerri and Mirai as well as active people know, is that KT tape can get you back on track, and is especially great for hip flexors, but what exactly is KT tape, and why is it particularly good for hip flexor strains?
What is KT Tape
KT tape is a flexible, lightweight tape that can be applied to an injured area to relieve pain and provide support. Unlike ace bandages that can shift around, come undone, and absorb sweat and water, KT tape adheres to the skin and stays put even in the water or (as evidenced by beach volleyball players) when covered in sand. KT tape can be used for any number of injuries and can be applied to any place where relief and support are welcome. Athletes have used KT tape to overcome whatever stands in their way of victory – from pulled hamstrings, deltoid pain, knee and shoulder injuries, to tennis elbow and tendonitis. KT tape can also be used for common injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, neck strain, and lower back pain.
KT Tape and Hip Flexor Strains
Hip flexors are the group of muscles located in the front part of the hip. We use them every time we flex our legs or lift our knee up to the body. Hip flexor strain happens when one or more of the hip flexor muscles become stretched or torn. You will know this because movement of any kind will be very painful, not only when you are trying to run, sprint, or squat, but when you try to get up from a chair or roll over in bed.
Those suffering from hip flexor strains find KT tape especially effective. That’s because you can’t wrap or bandage a hip with an ace or brace, and you certainly can’t refrain altogether from engaging your hip muscles without committing yourself to immobility!
Hip flexor strains usually happen gradually. Should you notice any changes in the hip or experience pain any time you engage the hip, apply the KT tape and then see your doctor before the strain becomes worse. If your doctor confirms you have strained your hip flexor, he likely will encourage you to continue using the tape (be sure to ask for a demonstration on the most effective way to apply it), recommend anti-inflammatory medication, tell you to ice the area and to rest for a few days. He may also provide you a prescription to see a physical therapist.
Whether you are competing for your nation or trying for your personal best, everyone wants to remain pain and injury free. If you find yourself needing care, contact Delaware Back Pain & Sports Rehabilitation Centers at (302) 730-8848 or request an appointment online to discuss the types of therapy offer that can relieve your pain and help achieve your Olympic goals.