As someone who is no stranger to a bit of sports-related knee pain and who travels in circles well populated with physical therapists (who seem oddly predisposed to mountain biking), I am no stranger to the practice of kinesiology therapeutic taping. The idea behind taping knees and other joints is twofold- the first is to nudge difficult joints into more correct movement using the body’s reflexive desire not to rub against things and the second is to lift the skin somewhat, relieving pressure on pain transmitters and increasing blood flow. While kinesiology tape has been used by medical professionals for quite some time, it’s only recently that consumer-oriented tapes have started popping up.
Given the success I’d had in using PT-directed taping to help with an achy knee, I was interested when Rocktape reached out with a sample. Like professional tape, Rocktape comes in a couple of sizes on long rolls (5cm x 5m / 2″ x 16′ in this case). The largely cotton tape is stretchy lengthwise but not across its width and has a latex-free hypoallergenic adhesive in a pleasing wavy pattern on its backside. In an effort to make injury avoidance more fun, Rocktape is available in a number of patterns, from the logo print shown here to cow, biohazard, pink skulls, Garmin-style argyle, and others- to say nothing of a number of solids. Our logo tape even came on a Lululemon-inspired backing, to provide inspiration for your workout.
In order to ensure correct and beneficial use, Rocktape have created an extensive video library demonstrating its use. While Rocktape’s continuous rolls may be less convenient than other brands’ pre-cut strips, they are also more versatile- I’ll take the inconvenience of packing a pair of scissors over that of not having the right length strip any day.
On long days, 24-hour races, and when working with a sore joint (usually knees, in my case), I’m a fan of kinesiology tape. And Rocktape works better than most. Its adhesion is well above average and its stretch seems just right. There is even an “H2O” version aimed at triathletes and swimmers. It’s no substitute for seeking out the cause of your discomfort (bad fit, overexertion, etc), but will help to aid in recovery- and make things more comfortable in the meantime.
At $20 per roll (from which we got about ten applications), Rocktape isn’t inexpensive- though it does have the potential to last for several days/workouts. One particularly sensitive tester ended up with a minor rash from the tape–likely more of an irritation than chemical reaction–while I have experienced no issues beyond a bit of adhesive left behind after removal. If you have any nagging joint issues, get the root cause addressed- and don’t hesitate to give Rocktape a go. Its excellent adhesion makes it a worthwhile upgrade from lesser tapes.