The Duct Tape Effect

By: Meggie Smith DC

Is it ok for you to be exercising when you are in pain? Most often, Dr. Will and I will encourage gentle movement, because of what I call the duct tape effect.

Your body heals in much the same way you use duct tape. You grow heavy scar tissue fibers that crisscross each other in all different directions. The patch is really strong, but also really stiff and inflexible. And also probably ugly.

However, if you move gently during the early days of healing, your body will lay down new fibers in directions that allow for that motion. You can think of this like those Band-Aids designed for your fingers. They are specifically aligned for bending and moving. Motion helps your body grow and heal ways that reflect how you use your body.

For some amazing beautiful pictures of this duct tape effect, see Chiropractic First’s Facebook page.

You need to show your body how you want the injured part of your body to move. But you do not need to do that motion quickly or with weight. When your body is injured it has a tendency to move incorrectly, which will create bad habits. We will talk more about in the next newsletter. For now just remember: move slowly, move carefully, move the body part without putting any weight on it, but continue to move while your body is healing!

If you know someone who has recently injured themselves, or who didn’t heal correctly the first time, we would love to help!  Please give us a call at 847-869-1313. In addition to chiropractic, we are offering a foam rolling class at 9:30am on Saturday the 26th. It will be a great class for someone with a lot of tightness.


  1. Should You "Walk It Off?" - Chiropractic First - July 22, 2014

    […] does not mean you should go for a long run on a sprained ankle. As I said in a recent newsletter, your muscles are not working properly and you could easily cause a whole other series of problems […]

  2. Movement is essential: 5 reasons not to rest after an injury - Chiropractic First - October 10, 2018

    […] can do after an injury is to stop moving. It is something I’ve written about many times (here, here and here.) However, my colleague’s paper discussed new research on why motion is so important […]

Leave a Reply