Learn the correct way to tape your neck and alleviate pain.

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Pains and aches right before a race couldn’t come at a worse time, but there are tools available that can help: kinesiology tape.

It’s nothing new for the avid fitness enthusiast, but studies reveal taping actually works–when applied correctly–to reduce pain and inflammation, relax overused muscles, and provide general support.

When applied correctly is the key. The application can be extremely tricky. Stretching the tape is the most important, and yet the most difficult part of the process.

RELATED: How To Tape 3 Common Running Injuries

Performance Health’s TheraBand Kinesiology Tape shows you how to properly tape your neck, a common area many runners have discomfort.

Preparation

Before applying tape, it’s important to prep the skin.

  1. Wash the area you’d like to tape to remove any dirt, oils or lotions on the skin.
  2. Next remove any hair, as this can cause difficulty for the tape to stick on the skin.
  3. Apply the tape about 60 minutes prior to exercise or your race.

Neck

Ask a friend or spouse to help you tape your neck.

Stand tall and tuck your chin slightly. Measure from your hairline down (cervical spine) to about the top of your scapula.

Split the tape in the middle to make a “Y” cut, leaving a 1-inch box at the top as your base. Cut the corners at the top and bottom so they don’t catch onto any clothing. Peel off the backing at the base and apply the tape just below the hairline. Slowly stretch, but not too much, the bottom of the tape all the way down to the top of the scapula.

Take a second piece of tape, measure about 4 inches. Cut the corners on each end to avoid clothing getting caught. Fold it in half, break it in the middle, and then stretch the tape about 50 percent. Place the center of the tape on the cervical spine and then apply on each side.