Posture Taping

Written by Brett Harrop

Updated:

The following posture taping techniques are designed to support the upper back and neck, improve postural alignment and reduce stress on the spine during activity. They can be used for both the treatment and prevention of upper back and neck injuries, particularly those associated with poor posture.

You should discuss the suitability of these taping techniques with your physiotherapist prior to using them. Generally, they should only be applied provided they are comfortable and do not cause an increase in pain, discolouration, pins and needles, numbness, swelling, itchiness or excessive redness of the back, neck, shoulders, arms, hands and fingers.


What sort of tape should be used for posture taping?

There are many different tapes and bandages available for use by physiotherapists and patients. However, when the purpose is to support and improve posture, adhesive, non-stretch (rigid) sports tape is generally most appropriate. (For posture taping 38mm is usually the most appropriate size). This should always be used in combination with hypoallergenic tape as an underlay, such as Fixomull.



Benefits of Posture Taping

When used correctly, posture taping techniques can:


Indications for Posture Taping

It is generally beneficial to use postural taping in the following instances:


When should I avoid Posture Taping?

Posture taping should be avoided in the following instances:

Weaning off posture tape in general activity is usually recommended as posture, strength and range of movement improves and symptoms reduce. In these instances, taping during activities encouraging poor posture may still be recommended.



Posture Taping Techniques

The following postural taping techniques may be used to provide support for the upper back and neck and to improve posture. Generally it is recommended that the back is shaved 12 hours prior to taping (to prevent painful removal of hairs and skin irritation). The skin should be cleaned and dried, removing any grease or sweat. Low irritant Fixomull tape should be applied as an under-wrap to reduce the likelihood of skin irritation with rigid sports tape over the top of this.


Posture Taping

Begin sitting or standing in good posture. Your spine should be straight with your shoulders back and your chin tucked in (eyes looking straight ahead – figure 1).

Correct Standing Posture
Figure 1 – Good Posture

Anchors

Place a strip of tape along the top of the shoulders and across the top of the lower back (figure 2). These are used as a fixation point for the other taping techniques.

Postural Taping Anchors
Figure 2 – Anchors


Vertical Lines

Maintain the spine in optimal posture (figure 1). Begin this taping technique at the level of the top anchor by following the black arrows (figure 3). Conclude this taping technique at the level of the bottom anchor by following the white arrows (figure 3). Create 3 straight lines with the middle line in the centre of the spine.

Postural Taping Vertical Lines
Figure 3 – Vertical Lines

Diagonal Lines

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Complete Posture Taping for maximal support

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Removing the tape

Care should be taken when removing the tape to avoid injury aggravation or skin damage. The tape should be removed slowly, pulling the tape back on itself with pressure placed on the skin as close as possible to the line of attachment of the tape.Generally tape should be removed within 48 hours of application or sooner if there is any increase in pain or symptoms (including skin irritation or itchiness).


Posture Taping Summary

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Physiotherapy Products to Assist with Postural ExercisesPhysiotherapy Products for Posture Taping

To purchase physiotherapy products to assist with Postural Taping click on one of the above links or visit the PhysioAdvisor Shop.


More Physiotherapy Exercises Postural Exercises


Other Taping Techniques Other Taping Techniques


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