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Weight gain during pregnancy is normal, but did you know some people can experience a change in their foot size during pregnancy as well? With pregnancy, the hormone relaxin is released in the body, and it can cause the ligaments in your feet to relax and can even cause your feet to widen and lengthen. On top of that, with weight gain, extra pressure on your feet can cause discomfort.

What is Kinesiology Tape?

Kinesiotape is a very flexiblehigh-grade cotton medical tape first developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase from Japan. The tape was designed with the famous fingerprint wave pattern that can help lift the skin to create space between the skin and tissue layers. The tape can help relieve discomfort, inflammation, and swelling. Kinesiotape is the brand name, but there are many other types of kinesiology tape on the market as well.

Disclaimer

Although I am a physical therapist by profession, I am not your physical therapist.  This information is for educational purposes only, it does not constitute medical advice and does not establish any kind of therapist-patient relationship with me. I am not liable or responsible for any damages resulting from or related to your use of this information.

Precautions & Things to Know Before Using Kinesiology Tape

  • Prep your skin – make sure it is clean and dry and free from lotions
  • Do not tape over any open wounds
  • Tape can last 3 to 5 days however if any redness or discomfort occurs, remove promptly
  • The adhesive is heat activated, so rubbing helps the tape to adhere and to withstand sweating, showering and swimming
  • Always round the edges to help the tape
  • With pregnancy, your skin stretches and can become more sensitive, again remove if your skin becomes irritated
  • Always leave an anchor of 1 inch on either side of tape application that is not stretched for better durability

What & Where to Buy?

In the clinic, I always use Kinesiotape brand tape, however Rock Tape, KT Tape, and SpiderTech are other good options. You can purchase pre-cut tape, but buying a roll of tape gives you greater customization and flexibility (and less wasting).

Depending on where your pain is, there are different taping patterns to help address your specific pain. Read more below on each taping option to determine the best fit for you.

Taping for Arch Support

With increased weight in pregnancy, it is common to have pain at the bottom of your arch. This taping pattern is great to provide extra support and comfort to the arch of your foot. You can use one strip of tape, or even double up and use two pieces of tape to cover more of the arch.

  • Measure the tape and cut to wrap around the bottom of your foot
  • Start anchor (unstretched tape) at the outside of your foot and place
  • Gently stretch the tape across the bottom of your foot
  • Place second anchor at the middle of your foot

Taping for Heel Pain

If your pain is focused at the back of your heel, this is a great taping pattern to try.

  • Measure the tape from your heel to your calf and a second piece for across the back of your heel
  • Start the anchor at the bottom of your foot on your heel
  • Gently stretch the tape up the back of your leg and end at the calf
  • Leave second anchor unstretched at the back of your calf
  • For second piece of tape, rip the tape in the center, and hold an anchor at each end
  • Stretch the middle of the tape and place across the back of your heel
  • Leave anchors unstretched at the inside and outside of your heel

Taping for Pain on the Inside of Your Heel

If the pain is located on the inside of your heel, you can try this taping pattern to help reduce the pain

  • Measure the tape from the outside of your foot, across your heel, to the inside of your leg
  • Place first anchor at the outside of your heel
  • Gently stretch the tape across the bottom of your foot extending to the inside of your leg
  • Place second anchor at the inside of your lower leg

Removing the Tape

The tape can be used for 3-5 days as long as there is no skin irritation. If it starts to peel back, you can trim the edges of the tape or try to smooth it out again. If you want to remove it, you can use baby oil to help break down the adhesive, let it soak in for a few minutes, and peel back slowly. You can also try removing it directly after a shower when it is softened. Remove any excess adhesive with oil.