Different Taping Techniques for Persistent Lower Back Pain: Does It Matter How You Tape?

Lower Back Pain

Persistent lower back pain is one of the most common types of muscular pain out there, with millions around the world suffering from it daily. Many activities can cause this type of pain, including prolonged sitting or standing, or activities involving consistent lower back use like vacuuming. Practicing bad lifting techniques can also be a cause; regardless of the activity, any continuation can only worsen the pain. This pain can also lead to further complications if left to fester, including outright nerve damage.

Although it is generally advised to seek professional medical help in the face of overwhelming back pain, the use of kinesiology tape can help mitigate persistent lower back pain and make it more manageable when accompanied by physical therapy routines that doctors will usually recommend. There are a variety of different taping methods for kinesiology tape in this situation; depending on which is used, these methods can achieve different results and change the desired outcome to your lower back pain.

Just keep in mind, however, that when applying the tape, you will need someone else with you to help as the skin needs to remain taut to achieve proper tape application. For the best results, it’s recommended to consult your physical therapist or personal trainer before doing so.

Lower Back H

The most common method, the lower-back H, is a good all-round method. It allows for flexibility around the area with the largest degree of pain and also allows for targeted pain relief; it can also help you as a reminder for keeping good posture.

  • Measure two strips from the beltline to mid-back.
  • Measure one strip across the hips at the lower back.
  • Make sure to round off the tape corners to prevent catching on clothing.
  • Lean over by bending at the hips. This stretches the skin on the lower back and keeps the application area taut.
  • Apply the two longer strips to either side of your spine.
  • Apply the third strip along the pain area. Stretch at the centre and apply first, so you can anchor the two sides with no stretch.

SI Joint 8-Point Star

This method is designed to support the sacroiliac joint, which connects the hip bones. This area is estimated to be the cause of 15% to 30% of all persistent lower back pain cases.

  • Measure one strip across the hips at the lower back.
  • Cut three additional strips the same length.
  • Make sure to round off the tape corners to prevent any catching.
  • Lean over by bending at the hips. This stretches the skin on the lower back and keeps the application area taut.
  • Apply the first strip across the hips.
  • Apply the second strip along the spine in the first strip’s centre.
  • Apply the remaining strips in an “X” pattern, completing the star.

Which Taping Method Is the Best?

Which Taping Method Is the Best

Although you may think that one taping method trumps others when it comes to dealing with persistent lower back pain, it has actually been proven that the three methods of a single standard taping across the lower back, the lower-back H, and the SI Joint 8-Point Star all provide similarly reduced levels of pain and improved measures of relief.

Found by a recent Turkish study, the sample size consisted of 125 individuals with lower back pain split into four groups. As stated previously, after three weeks of treatment using the three different methods, it was found that all showed similar effectiveness across the board, with no one method demonstrating superior ability over the others. This actually reinforces another study conducted in 2014, which found similar results across a sample of 148 individuals.

This overall similarity in effectiveness was attributed to a general inability to really “feel” any difference in taping methods, with the use of kinesiology tape actually encouraging those affected with persistent lower back pain to push through with physical activity and therapy despite the pain; these are an important part of helping to relieve the pain and jumpstart the healing process of the muscles.

Lower Back Support for Pregnancy

Pregnancy can naturally be a major cause for persistent lower back pain, which is why proper physical therapy and the effective use of kinesiology tape can become so important to treat this issue. However, due to every pregnancy typically being different for every woman, this also applies to kinesiology taping; even how advanced the pregnancy is must be considered. As a result, there isn’t any “one size fits all” solution, although there are a few basic guidelines out there that pregnant women can follow if they wish to use kinesiology tape for treatment.

  • Begin with the lower-back H method, focusing on applying the tape to the area with the most muscle tension and pain. Depending on how advanced the pregnancy is, using solely this method may be the only thing needed.
  • If extra support is needed, begin applying additional kinesiology tape strips across the back; making sure that additional applications are within close proximity to the first to help maintain and bolster the tape’s effectiveness. Typically, only one additional strip should be necessary.
  • Kinesiology tape can also be applied using two strips leading from the mid-back to the stomach at the belly button, due to the extra front weight. This can also help provide additional spinal and back support.

Author’s Bio

Rhett Desormeaux

Rhett Desormeaux is a content writer currently working with BreezeMaxWeb. He’s a passionate writer and loves studying ancient history, especially Bronze Age civilizations.