Edema Taping During Pregnancy
Losing sight of your toes might be an exciting pregnancy milestone as it means your baby is growing and you’re that much closer to meeting them! But losing sight of your ankles due to swelling is a pregnancy milestone nobody wants to deal with.
Our friend Dr. Aliena Davis at Precision Chiropractic took some time to share about the use of kinesiology tape for the treatment of edema during pregnancy... read on.
So, what is edema taping?
Edema taping is simply the use of Kinesiology Tape (KT tape - similar to the tape everyone saw on several of the olympic athletes a little while back) to reduce swelling in an area of the body - in this case the feet and ankles.
How is it done?
We cut the majority of the piece of tape into smaller strips, leaving about a 1-2 inch “anchor” of intact tape at the end. Then, we gently apply the tape to the affected area, using a specific technique that helps the tape function in an inflammation-reducing fashion rather than a supportive fashion as is typically associated with taping techniques.
How does kinesio tape (KT Tape) work?
When applied with the correct technique, the tape will apply gently alternating pressure and tension to your skin with your everyday movements. This process slowly helps to “pump” the excess fluid out of the area - similar to a lymphatic drainage massage.
Is edema taping safe during pregnancy?
Generally, yes! We screen everyone for risks of adverse reactions prior to applying the tape for the first time. If your skin is extremely sensitive to adhesives, this option may not be a good fit for you due to the risk of an allergic reaction (the tape we use is latex-free, though, so it’s a good option for those with latex allergies!) Additional safety concerns include a sudden onset of foot and ankle swelling especially if accompanied by a headache, nausea, visual disturbances, and/or hand, wrist, arm, or face swelling. These symptoms could be signs of a serious condition that require the immediate attention of your OB/GYN or midwife.
Can I apply it to myself?
Absolutely - once you’ve been shown the correct application techniques we encourage you to apply the tape at home! It can be purchased at Target. We teach all our patients how to properly apply the tape during the first application in our office. If it’s difficult for you to reach your feet and ankles to apply the tape properly, bring your partner or a friend or family member to one of your appointments and we will show them how to do it for you.