Improve Knee Stability with Kinesiology Tape

Knee Stability Using Kinesiology Tape

If you have knee pain, you may benefit from physical therapy to help you decrease your pain, improve your knee range of motion (ROM) and strength, and return to optimal function and activity.  Your physical therapist can assess your knee to help decide on the proper course of treatment to manage your condition.

If your PT assesses that lack of knee stability may be causing your knee pain, he or she may offer solutions to help improve your knee stability.  Strengthening exercises for your knee, ankle, or hip may be prescribed.  Your PT may also suggest you use a knee brace to add stability.

But is there another solution to providing knee stability without using a cumbersome brace?

Kinesiology tape is one treatment method that your PT may use to improve the stability of your knee. It is a simple and cost effective way to help manage your knee pain while exercising.  Before starting, make sure you review the different types of kinesiology tape strips, and make sure you know the contraindications to using kinesiology tape.

Kinesiology Tape for Knee Stability

To begin applying kinesiology tape to your knee, sit in a chair with your knee relaxed and slightly bent. Cut an I strip of kinesiology tape that is about 6 inches long.   Apply the I strip starting at the upper and outer part of your knee. Peel off the backing and apply the tape on the lower and outer part of your knee just below your kneecap.  You should apply the tape with approximately 25-50% stretch.  Rub the tape vigorously to maximize adhesion.

Kinesiology Tape for Knee Stability

After applying the lateral I strip, apply a medial I strip to your knee.  To do so, remain seated, and cut a second I strip about 6 inches long.   Affix one end of the tape to the upper and inner part of your quadriceps, and run the tape down to the lower and inner aspect of your knee.  Affix the tape just below your kneecap and rub vigorously to create adequate adhesion.  Your knee cap should now be encircled by kinesiology tape.  When you straighten your knee, the skin around your patella should pucker a bit.

Kinesiology Tape for Knee Stability

 The third strip you use for knee stability should by a Y strip, and there are two different options to use for this strip.  One option helps pull your kneecap inwards if you have a patella tracking problem, and the other helps to lift your kneecap if you have pain or crunching in your kneecap while straighten your knee.  It is a good idea to check in with your PT to help decide which type of strip you should apply in this step.

  1. For patella tracking issues, cut a Y strip about 4 inches long and adhere one end to the outer edge of your knee cap.  Pull both arms of the Y over and around your kneecap and apply them to the inner part of your kneecap with about 25-50% stretch.  The kinesiology tape should slightly pull your kneecap inwards.
  2. If you have pain and crepitus (crunching) when you straighten your knee, you should use the tape to lift your kneecap.  To do this, apply a Y strip starting at the inner part of your kneecap and pull the two arms around your kneecap to the outer edge.  Affix the kinesiology tape with 25-50% stretch.  Rub the tape to adhere it properly.

Your kneecap should be fully encircled by kinesiology tape and the skin around your knee should pucker when you straighten your knee.

Final Step for Knee Stability with Kinesiology Tape

The final step of the knee stability kinesiology tape application is to apply a small lift-off strip to the lower aspect of your patellar tendon.  This is helpful if you suffer from patellar tendonitis.  To apply this strip, cut a lift-off strip about 3 inches long and apply it just under your kneecap with 100% tension.  You have now completed  the knee stability 1-2-3-4 technique with kinesiology tape.

If you are dealing with knee pain, you can help add stability to your knee using kinesiology tape.  The tape can help facilitate muscular function around your knee to support your kneecap and keep your pain at a minimum.  Be sure to check with your physical therapist or doctor to make sure this technique is a safe one for you to use to help with your knee pain.

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