Kinesio Tape, Mom Ankles, and Getting the Martyr Vote

Dear Kid,

I’m wearing KT tape. I’d take a photo and include it, but the tape the PTs used is just about the same color as my skin so all you’d see is a close up of mom-ankle. I thought you’d be pleased that I passed on the photo op.

The reason for this application of KT tape is that the Physical Therapists (you remember them) are hoping it will help encourage the bones in my foot (you remember them) to stay where they are supposed to stay rather than where they seem to want to migrate to. This is all somewhat incidental as the PTs (there’s a gaggle of them) have now concluded that the Big Issue is the tightness in the side of shin and the lack of cooperation from the nerves near my knee. Which led to dry needling (another topic for another day).

As you may or may not know, KT Tape was named by the Department of Redundancy Department Department because KT stands for Kinesio tape.

It was invented by a Japanese chiropractor named Kenzo Kase all the way back in the 1970s which just goes to show that some ideas leap to success (Apple watch) and others take 40 or so years to become popular.

From the company’s website:

KT TAPE is applied along muscles, ligaments, and tendons (soft tissue) to provide a lightweight, external support that helps you remain active while recovering from injuries. KT Tape creates neuromuscular feedback (called proprioception) that inhibits (relaxes) or facilitates stronger firing of muscles and tendons. This feedback creates support elements without the bulk and restriction commonly associated with wraps and heavy bracing. KT Tape gives you confidence to perform your best.

Translation: Better than a Band-Aid and mom kiss for boo-boo.

The reason KT tape works is unclear. And by “unclear” I mean there is more than one authority in the world who poo-poos KT tape’s efficacy entirely. There are more athletes and trainers who are busy ignoring the skeptics because DANG they look good in KT tape, and oh-by-the-way it works.

In my particular case, we are not going for the “confidence to perform at my best.” We are going for “All You Bones and Stuff, Get Back Where You Belong!”

This is not a medically recognized diagnosis.

Then again, more than one PT thinks I’m an alien based on the way my foot responds to treatment.

For the record, skin-colored KT tape is really not a good idea. You completely lose out on the sympathy vote (“Oh, my goodness! What happened to you?!”) and the martyr vote (“I can’t believe she’s able to stand and lecture for that long with her leg like that. Her ankle must be killing her!”). With skin-colored tape, pretty much no one even notices your heroic actions.

On the other hand, if you’re hoping to wear interesting shoes without incurring commentary from everyone and their brother (“Should you really be wearing those?”), flesh tone is the way to go.

Love, Mom


  1. If only your feet would be a bit more cooperative. Those bones need a stern talking to. How many years have you been struggling with issues with your feet? I’m so sorry to hear that you’re still having problems!

    • It’s true. I have never had cooperative feet…

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