Kinesiology, or kinesio, taping is a form of sports taping that encourages the lymphatic and circulatory systems to flow and work efficiently through the specific placement of strips of tape, thus reducing pain and swelling. The tape used should have an elasticity of 130 to 140 per cent of its original length to provide support for the muscles while also not allowing an overstretch. When applied correctly to the hip area, kinesio tape can increase stability in the joint and support the surrounding muscles ready for daily activities, such as climbing stairs, or even sporting activities, such as sprinting and hurdling.
Hold the end of the kinesio tape roll at the top of your pelvis to the side of your body. Roll the tape down over your hip to approximately one third of the way down the side of your thigh. Cut the tape to this length without removing the backing, and round the edges to prevent peeling.
Remove any clothing covering the hip area. Clean the area with soap and water and wipe with rubbing alcohol to remove any residue and ensure the area is as hygienic as possible.
Hold the strip of tape in both hands and bend in half backward to split the backing paper down the middle.
Peel the backing paper back from the centre out to expose approximately 60 per cent of the tape underneath.
Hold the backing paper out of the way with one hand at each end of the tape and stretch it to 70 per cent of its elasticity.
Lie on your side with the hip to be treated exposed and your thigh bent forward slightly. Locate the bony prominence called the greater trochanter at the side of your hip and apply the exposed central section of the tape to this prominence.
Release the tension in the tape and carefully smooth the top section of the tape up over the side of your buttock. Lightly rub the tape to activate the adhesive as you smooth it over your skin and remove the backing gradually to avoid wrinkles.
Move your thigh back slightly to extend your hip and smooth the bottom section of the tape down the side of your thigh, in the same way as in Step 7.
Rub the strip of tape from the centre to the edges to ensure it is firmly stuck down to your skin.
Apply more strips of tape perpendicular and diagonal to the first strip, repeating the steps and centring on the greater trochanter, if more support is needed.
It is recommended that only trained practitioners apply the kinesio tape, particularly for injury rehabilitation, and although pre-cut strips are available for self treatment, you should always consult a practitioner to ensure you're getting the full benefits of the treatment.