Sitting might just be one of the most popular “activities” we do today therefore reducing back pain is the biggest challenge faced today. Along with the hazards of a sedentary lifestyle, many of us worsen the damage by sitting for hours a day with poor posture. When we slouch with rounded, stooped shoulders, we put our spinal discs and joints at risk, decrease our lung capacity and strain and weaken muscles throughout the upper body. Neck, shoulder and upper back pain are common among people who work while seated. One study suggests that a simple method of taping may help some people correct posture in as little as a month.
Kinesiology taping involves strategically applying special tape to the body; its location and direction depend on the issue it is intended to correct. Taping was developed to provide support without restriction to injured muscles and other soft tissues, increasing circulation to the tissues and realigning joints that have become misaligned due to tensions acting on them. However, it seems that, for posture correction, taping provides a humbler function: It acts as a reminder to the taped person by giving a slight tug on the skin when posture starts to falter.
Over the course of the month, posture gradually improved and pain gradually decreased. There were no other interventions pursued, implying that taping may be sufficient in some people to establish better posture. However, no follow-up was reported on, so the long-term effectiveness of this intervention was not established; it can’t be said, as of now, whether this 1-month intervention was sufficient to overhaul and replace the harmful muscle memory pattern established from years of slouching.
See more on the study at www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov.
The benefit of taping is that it is passive and easy. However, you won’t likely be able to tape your upper back yourself. It’s wise to seek the guidance of a physical or sports therapist. After receiving instruction, you’ll likely need someone else to help you with taping. If you don’t have someone else to do this, you’d need to see the specialist on a very regular basis.
Active Interventions Important, Too
Taping is not likely the answer to all your posture and pain problems. A sedentary lifestyle breeds musculoskeletal dysfunction by depriving tissues of nutrients and promoting patterns of tension and weakness. Incorporating more movement into your day will help keep your muscles healthy.
Taping may help you improve posture. Passive interventions can help remind you when your posture is slipping and likely foster, over time, healthier muscle memory.