Kinesiology Tape for Pregnancy Related Low Back Pain
It has been reported that up to 90% of women experience low back or pelvic pain at some point during their pregnancy. Pregnancy related low back pain and pelvic girdle pain can begin in the first trimester, but more commonly begins to develop around the 18th week, will reach peak pain intensity between the 24-36th weeks of pregnancy, and will typically resolve within a few weeks of delivery. That means there is a potential for 12 (!!!) weeks of intense low back and pelvic pain!
Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy Related Low Back Pain & Pelvic Pain
-Pain with low back flexion (ie bending forward)
-Pain or tenderness of palpation of lumbar erector spinae muscles
-Joint restriction of lumbar face joints and/or sacroiliac joints
-Pain with sit to stand movements, and getting in and out of a vehicle
-Pain with prolonged standing or walking
While many methods are successful at managing pregnancy related low back pain & pelvic pain, (including chiropractic adjustments, Active Release Technique, patient education, exercise therapy, and pelvic support belts), Kinesiology tape is a relative newcomer to this scene, but shows promising results!
The mechanism by which kinesiology tape works is still largely unknown, but it may involve directly affecting the skins receptors (pain and deep sensory), and by supporting myofascial structures (ie muscles and fascia). This combination of effect may help reduce tension in overloaded muscles, and increase joint stability resulting in pain relief.
A recent study published by Draper et al (2019), demonstrated that application of kinesiology tape to the abdomen and/or lumbopelvic areas (depending on location of pain), in addition to providing chiropractic adjustments, muscle release techniques, and education provided greater pain relief and greater subjective improvement in quality of life and ability to perform activities of daily living. What does this mean? Adding in Kinesiology tape to your routine for management of pregnancy related low back or pelvic pain can further help reduce pain and improve function! Neat!
Dr. Elaine Screaton (DC, BSc), is a Chiropractor in NW Calgary, currently practicing at Synergea Family Health Centre in Calgary, AB.