Remember the last time you saw your favorite athlete or Olympian wear neon pink, flashy looking tape while playing sport?
Good news, this flashy adhesive isn’t just for athletes anymore.
Pregnant women everywhere are using this therapeutic tape to relieve a whole host of pregnancy related symptoms from lower back and pelvic pain to rib discomfort and swollen ankles.
How can a tiny piece of “tape” do so much?!
Well, the key is in the elasticity of the tape itself, which is similar to our skin’s elasticity and thickness. Once applied, the tape helps to gently lift the skin from the underlying tight tissue and fascia promoting increased blood circulation, which in turn facilitates the body’s natural healing process. This increased blood flow reduces pain and swelling and helps to manage inflammation – think swollen feet, hands and wrists.
Kinesiology Taping also helps to support and stabilize muscles and joints providing neuromuscular feedback and encourages postural awareness and increased range of motion.
Therapeutic taping provides an alternative to other pain management strategies including medications. It is a winning solution for many of the aches and pains that come with pregnancy especially when taking meds are off the table. When applied correctly, the tape provides immediate, 24/7 continuous relief for several days. It is also less bulky, less restrictive and less costly than a typical pelvic support brace or belt. Pregnant mamas to be pain free anytime and anywhere.
As a prenatal chiropractor, the benefits of taping are endless for my pregnant patients. Adding a few strategically placed strips of kinesiology tape to the lower back and pelvis helps to alleviate the discomfort that comes with changing biomechanics and increased instability that often result from a growing baby. In addition the tape adds a level of support and stability that is much needed during this time.
Under the belly taping is one of the most popular uses of tape for moms-to-be. The tape offers a gentle lift and support to the bump relieving pubic bone pain and tenderness. Taping also helps redistribute belly weight evenly and reduces fatigue as the baby grows. Round ligament tension is also immediately remedied by adding tape to the lower belly.
In addition, applying tape to areas of the feet, hands and wrists diminish the effects of fluid retention or swelling.
In fact, a 2016 research study investigated the short term effects of taping on pain intensity and disability in women with pregnancy-related low back pain. The study compared the outcome of pregnant women who used pain relief medications plus taping to pregnant women who used pain relief medication only. The results of the study showed significant improvements in the group of women who used kinesiology taping as a form of pain relief.
Using the tape on your own is straightforward. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Make sure your skin is dry and clean before application so that the tape adheres to your skin and lasts longer.
2. Using the pre-cut i-Strips makes it easier to apply. Just follow the numbers on the back of the tape for your application. You can also use rolls if you would like.
3. To remove the tape, use baby oil to gently loosen the adhesions.
Dr. Aliya applying SpiderTech Kinesiology tape on one of her patients
-Written by Dr. Aliya Visram
Dr. Aliya Visram is a chiropractic doctor, registered acupuncturist, trained doula, and health advocate. She’s also a wife, mama of 2, runner, yogi and chronic multi-tasker. She is on a mission to balance her career, motherhood and a healthy inspired life one day at a time.