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Playing Can Kinesiology Tape Help Pregnancy-Related Back Pain?

Kristen is six months pregnant and comes to The Doctors asking if she can use kinesiology tape for her back pain. Orthopedic surgeon Dr. Levi Harrison is a huge proponent of this tape and joins The Doctors to talk about its benefits.

Dr. Harrison says he often uses this tape in his practice for gestational carpal tunnel to tape women’s wrists, but also he has used it for lower back pain in pregnant women. 

He shares the tape can be used for pain, postural alignment and instability, and both joint and tissue rehab. He says he has used it for years as an athlete and a physician. 

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Dr. Harrison notes that the science behind this tape isn’t extremely strong, however, the thought is the tape can help in a few ways. Placing it down decreases the pressure on pain receptors. Doing so also likely increases blood flow which will decrease inflammation. The tape should also help with lymphatic flow. 

Both OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry and Dr. Levi don’t recommend using the tape on the belly of a pregnant woman. “With pregnancies, we always want to see randomized controlled trials because we are trying to protect those babies!” says Dr. Nita. 

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The Doctors invite Kristen to the exam room to have Dr. Levi apply the tape to her back. He recommends leaving the strips in place for no more than 3 – 5 days. After removal, he says patients can expect relief for up to several days. 

Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon points out this tape may have a bit of a placebo effect yet that's not a bad thing. Dr. Levi agrees.