Taping a clients back is a common tool used at the clinic for postural correction to hold the body in the perfect anatomical position and to create awareness of slouching during day to day living. A huge majority of our cases we see of lower and upper back pain is essentially self inflicted through bad habits of poor posture and can easily be improved to prevent any future and long-term injuries.
When to tape
The two main conditions we tape the back for are excessive curvatures of the upper and lower back. From a side position, the spine has a ‘S’ curve as seen to the right, and through predisposed factors, lifestyle habits and poor posture the two curves at the upper and lower portion of the spine will develop a larger curve. It’s these excessive curves we affiliate poor posture with, which leads to muscle imbalances that cause your standard musculoskeletal pain affecting muscles and joints.
Ingredients for postural taping
Fixomull white stretch tape is an under-wrap tape that's easier to remove and is hypoallergenic which makes it a lot more skin friendly.
Rigid strapping tape is the standard strapping tape we commonly see used for taping ankles and shoulders.
Scissors, as the fixomull tape doesn't tear off like rigid strapping tape.
Taping for upper back and shoulder correction
First off we tape for poor posture of the upper back area also known as a kyphotic curve or upper crossed syndrome. Taping should always begin with the body in the anatomical position/ position we want to finish in. For upper body we need to keep the shoulders back and upright (with no slouch through the upper spine) with the head kept backwards by drawing your chin in towards the throat.
We begin first by applying the fixomull followed by the rigid strapping tape as the top layer. Taping from the front of your shoulder and pulling the tape back and down and crossing over the spine of the opposite side of the mid back and repeat for both sides. Now to tape for forward head posture correction we use strips of tape from below the base of the hairline and down over the upper curve of the back.
Taping for lower back correction
Taping for lower back correction involves taping the abdomen instead of directly on the lower back. This is because when the lower back will want to shorten the abdomen will want to lengthen and the tape works to prevent the side that’s being lengthened. The type of taping we apply has vertical strips to prevent an anterior pelvic tilt with horizontal taping to anchor down the vertical strips. For extra strength we do an 'X' with the rigid tape and sealed off along the top and bottom with two horizontal strips.
To correct poor posture long term, you’ll need to stretch muscles that are tight and overactive while strengthening weak and lengthened muscles. Examples of this can be seen in this neck exercises blog. Short term, postural taping is really effective as it holds your body in the correct position during work or through daily activities and allows you to become aware of your posture throughout the day and is really effective at off loading muscle/ joints being placed under strain.