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Man Ther. 2003 Feb;8(1):37-41.

Does tape facilitate or inhibit the lower fibres of trapezius?

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Department of Physiology, University College London, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT, UK.


The application of tape to the skin overlying the lower fibres of trapezius is generally thought to facilitate this muscle. However, this facilitation has not been thoroughly investigated. In this study, the effect of tape upon trapezius motoneurone pool excitability was assessed using the trapezius H reflex. The amplitude of the H reflex was measured across four conditions: before tape application, with Endura Fix tape, with the addition of Endura Sports tape and finally with the tape removed. Instead of the expected facilitation of lower trapezius, this tape inhibited lower trapezius activity. On average, the application of Endura Fix tape inhibited trapezius by 4%. The application of Endura Sports tape overlaying the Endura Fix tape inhibited trapezius on average by 22%. This inhibition did not last once the tape was removed. This suggests that any change in shoulder girdle symptoms or movement, which occurs with the application of this particular tape, is not explicable on the basis of the facilitation of the lower fibres of trapezius.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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