Lower Back Solutions – Kinesiology Tape Effects and Benefits
Chronic lower back pain (CLBP) affects millions of people around the world and can greatly impact their quality of life. In fact, CLBP is one of the major causes of years lived with disability in 65% of countries globally and the primary cause of years lived with disability in all high-income countries (1). While there are various treatment options available, one approach that has gained popularity in recent years is the use of kinesiology tape due to its simplicity and accessibility. Kinesiology tape is a flexible, adhesive tape that can be applied to the skin over the affected area to provide increased awareness, control, and pain relief. In this blog post, we will discuss how kinesiology tape can help someone experiencing chronic lower back pain.
What is Kinesiology Tape?
Kinesiology tape is a therapeutic tape that is made of cotton fibers with an elastic, adhesive backing. It was originally developed in the 1970s by a Japanese chiropractor, Dr. Kenzo Kase, who wanted a tape that could provide support and pain relief without restricting movement. Kinesiology tape is designed to mimic the properties of human skin, allowing it to move and stretch with the body. As already indicated, it can be applied to various parts of the body to provide improved awareness, control, and pain relief.
How does Kinesiology Tape work?
Kinesiology tape works by lifting the skin and underlying tissue (fascia) away from the muscle, which can help to reduce pressure and tension on the affected area. It can also improve lymphatic drainage, which can help to reduce inflammation and promote healing. Kinesiology tape can be applied in different ways depending on the desired effect. The most common approach, generally used to help manage pain and discomfort, is the ‘H’ pattern as shown here. If you want to learn other methods of application for increased body awareness, control, and post-surgical it is recommended that you seek the advice of a trained medical professional – find one here
How can Kinesiology Tape help with chronic lower back pain?
Chronic lower back pain can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor posture, muscle imbalances, and degenerative changes in the spine. Kinesiology tape can be used to address these issues by providing a novel but safe cue to the affected area, improving body awareness that has been shown to help defuse the threat of moving along with aiding in correcting maladaptive positions/movement. Here are some ways that kinesiology tape can help with chronic lower back pain:
1. Posture Correction: Kinesiology tape can be used to help correct posture by providing feedback to the nervous system (brain) about the affected area. By applying the tape in a specific area (low back), it can help to help remind you to maintain a position that is more advantageous to your recovery.
2. Pain Relief: Kinesiology tape can help to reduce pain by its ability to mechanically stimulate receptors in the skin/fascia that have been shown to mitigate the alarm signals to the brain, thus improving symptoms. In addition, by improving fluid dynamics (reducing chronic inflammation), the tape can aid in reducing the irritation of pain generating nerve endings.
3. Increased Confidence in Movement: Fear of movement, or what is termed ‘kinesiophobia’, is a common feature of those that experience chronic lower back pain. One of the most important benefits of applying kinesiology tape on an area that is experiencing pain is its ability to decrease the threat of moving by providing a comfortable and safe stimulus that reinforces the brains confidence in moving the area once again.
Chronic lower back pain can be a debilitating condition that can greatly impact a person’s quality of life. While there are various treatment options available, kinesiology tape is a safe and effective approach that can provide improved awareness, control, pain relief, and confidence. By lifting the skin and underlying tissue away from the muscle, kinesiology tape can start the recovery process that can complement the more traditional methods of care (physical therapy, chiropractic, massage, and rehab). If you are experiencing chronic lower back pain, consider giving kinesiology tape a try to see if it can provide some relief.
1. Vos T, Lim SS, Abbafati C, Abbas KM, Abbasi M, Abbasifard M, Abbasi-Kangevari M, Abbastabar H, Abd-Allah F, Abdelalim A, Abdollahi M (2020) Global burden of 369 diseases and injuries in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019. Lancet 396(10258):1204–1222.