Kinesio tape is used to help support the muscles and connective tissues of the body, and is usually used in conjunction with physiotherapy and gentle exercise. Scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine, which can be inherited in families, or caused by various diseases, including polio.
Many patients with scoliosis are prescribed a brace, but kinesio tape is being used for mild curvature in order to support the spine. It still allows movement, stretching and range of motion exercises, to diminish pain and stiffness in patients of all ages.
Where you tape for scoliosis will depend on which kind of scoliosis you have, and to what extent. Anything below a 20 degree angle is considered mild. Anything above that degree needs some form of treatment, and watchful management, with a doctor's visit every six months to see if the curvature has changed significantly.
The spine can curve like a C or a backwards C, or like an S. Easy signs of scoliosis include uneven shoulders, and uneven hips.
Apply tape on the shoulder which is rising upwards, to give it more support. Put one end of the tape on the shoulder near the base of the neck. Extend the tape downwards to the edge of the shoulder blade.
If the hips are uneven, put some tape, in the shape of a "V," on the hip which is higher than the other. The point of the V should start at the waist, with the two arms of the V spreading upwards from the waist to the edge of the ribcage.
Tape across the waist along the back, for extra support of the spine. This will also help if the curvature appears as lordosis, also referred to as swayback.
Tape parallel to the spine on the opposite side of the uneven shoulder, from shoulder to hip, to support the spine and muscles being pulled out of alignment.
If the curvature of the spine appears as kyphosis, or a hump in the upper part of the back, tape that area from side to side to support the spine and muscles.
Always consult with your doctor about any treatment options for your scoliosis. Discuss correct taping methods with your physiotherapist before attempting at home. You may want to ask your home helper to go with you to the physiotherapist to learn the correct taping methods for your particular scoliosis issues. Follow up with all of your exercises. If the patient is a child with scoliosis, kinesio taping might be a good and less embarrassing choice than a brace, and will allow them to feel less restrained.
Your treatment goals will be different depending on the nature and severity of your scoliosis. Taping will not help more severe cases of scoliosis, or those caused by neuromuscular disorders such as cerebral palsy. If the curvature worsens, or you experience pain, discontinue treatment and see your doctor. If you experience breathing problems, this could also be a sign of the curvature worsening. See your doctor immediately.