KT tape, or kinesiology taping, first came into use back in the 1970s by Dr. Kenzo Kase, a Japanese Chiropractor. He developed it originally to ease the pain and help the soft tissue to heal. Now, many athletes use this tape to help with their injury, pain, and muscle performance. Physical therapists and athletic trainers also use this to help their patients with different injuries.
KT is a cotton-mesh stretchy tape that is breathable, latex-free as well as waterproof. The tap was specifically made to mimic the khin properties. The glue has a wavelike pattern which is made to mimic the skin properties. The glue gets activated by the body heat, as well as allows the moisture to evaporate and the skin to breathe. And now, it is even used for other purposes, and you will find people looking all over the internet for “KT tape pregnancy.”
The benefit of using KT tape on a pregnant belly
There are many benefits of KT tape, and it is not just used during pregnancy.
- Decreases muscle fatigue
- Improve muscle facilitation
- Inhibit muscle activation (decreases the activity in an injured muscle)
- Decrease pain
- Decrease swelling or edema as it promotes lymphatic drainage
- Support pain in joints, like after a sprain
- Support strained tendons or ligaments
- It gives postural support by providing proprioceptive awareness/input
KT tape can be used for all the purposes mentioned above. It is also used for these specific pregnancy complaints:
- sacroiliac joint pain
- low back pain
- carpal tunnel syndrome
- Neck and shoulder pain (i.e. postural support)
- swelling in the hands or feet
Taping vs. Other Supports
Taping is an amazing alternative to use as a support belt or a belly band and is a lot less cumbersome.
You do not need to add another piece of clothing which some moms find very difficult. The outside temperature could be too hot to use another layer. These tapes can be worn for a number of days, which means there is no need to take the band on and off all through the day. It might get a little irritating if you have to wear it the whole day and take it off every time you go to the washroom. That is why KT tape is an amazing alternative option. You can just put it in and then forget about it for the whole day.
Here are 5 steps to tape your pregnant belly
There are some steps you can follow to use the “KT tape pregnancy.” those are:
Lie on your back, flat on a bed or a table, and bend your knees. Tuck the tailbone inside the body and lie flat on the floor or the mat.
The tape will give you more support when you stand if you tuck the tailbone properly inside your body or if you are posteriorly tilted more, the tape supports more. This is a good way you can modulate how much support you want from the tape. This step ensures that you get the support you require.
You have to remember that theoretically, you can do it yourself, but it would be better if there is another person to help you. When you’re lying on your back, it becomes difficult to look over the bump and tape it.
Start with an anchor that you tape under the belly. The strip should not get any tension on it.
One of the major benefits of the KT tape comes from the elastic-like properties of this tape. If you want to get all the access to the benefits the KT tape provides, like improved lymphatic flow, and improved blood flow, you typically have to take advantage of this elasticity. But this step is mainly for setting the anchor right and not forming any tension on the tape.
Peel one side of the paper off, then place it on the inner part of one hip bone, then take it across your lower belly without forming any tension.
Step 3 & 4:
These steps help you when you are done applying the support strips and now want to use some tension to your advantage. If you have somehow lost the tucked tailbone, then go back and reset the posture. But remember, if you are more posteriorly tilted, you get more support.
Measure two pieces of the tape a few inches shorter from the area of the anchor to the rib cage bottom. Then measure two other pieces of tape from the anchor point and wrap them to the side of your belly. You have to play along with the length, depending on the length of the torso. So, there is nothing to worry about if you think you did not do it right the first time.
Pro tip: Cut the tape a little bit longer so if you need you can shorten it according to your need, and that way, you do not have to waste the whole strip.
Once you have the strips ready, cut the corners off of the tape to make the edges round. This is done to make sure that the tape does not peel off before it is time to remove it.
Place the first strip about an inch left to the center of the anchor. From 50% or so, stretch the tape in, follow a straight line to the side of the belly button, and take it up to the rib cage. And then repeat the same thing on the other side as well.
Place the third strip and place it on the same anchor point. Again create 50% or just stretch the tape and wrap it diagonally to the side of your belly. Then repeat the same thing on the other side.
Well, I believe it’s time to celebrate as you are done with taping the belly and supporting it.
But keep in mind: You should remove the tape when your skin itches. This happens because of the adhesive the tape has. If you are okay with it after using it for 24 hours, then you can tape yourself back immediately. If not, remove it and give your skin a break. Use some white medical tape underneath for better results.
If you are actually comfortable, then wear the tape and keep it on for almost 2-3 days before you remove it and retape it. You can do everything you normally do, like exercise, and shower while you have the “KT tape pregnancy” on.
How Do I Know Which Is The Best Technique for Me?
It depends on where your discomfort is and how much support you need. Read the descriptions to match up your needs with what the technique provides. This actually depends on where you are feeling discomfortable
Earlier during the pregnancy, like in the late first trimester or during the initial time of the second trimester, you might require just one of two minimal techniques. As you move forward with the pregnancy and the belly grows bigger, you will find out that you require more support and then combine a few techniques to see which one works best for you.But, you would have to go through the trial and error method to find out which one you like and check if the “KT tape pregnancy” works for you.
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