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Phys Ther Sport. 2009 May;10(2):45-50. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2008.12.002. Epub 2009 Mar 3.

Upper and lower trapezius muscle activity in subjects with subacromial impingement symptoms: is there imbalance and can taping change it?

Author information

1
Physiotherapy Department, Cardiff University, Research Centre for Clinical Kinaesiology, School of Healthcare Studies, Cardiff, UK. smithmj2@cardiff.ac.uk

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To investigate (i) whether subacromial impingement symptoms (SIS) were associated with upper and lower trapezius muscle imbalance and (ii) the effect of a scapula taping technique on upper and lower trapezius muscle activity.

DESIGN:

Cross-sectional study with nested within-subject intervention.

SETTING:

University research laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS:

Subjects who demonstrated SIS (n=16) on clinical testing and an age and gender matched group of asymptomatic subjects (n=32).

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Surface electromyography (EMG) to measure activity in the upper (UFT) and lower (LFT) fibres of trapezius during repeated humeral elevation in the scapular plane.

RESULTS:

Symptomatic subjects demonstrated a significantly (95% CI 2.13 to 4.17, p=0.019) higher ratio of UFT:LFT activity than the asymptomatic subjects (95% CI 1.35 to 2.25). With tape in situ the symptomatic subjects demonstrated a significant (95% CI -8.6% to -17.3%, p<0.001) reduction in UFT activity but no significant (95% CI +2.8% to -17.5%, p=0.145) change in activity of LFT. No relationship (r=- 0.116, p=0.669) was found between the degree of underlying muscle imbalance and the reduction in UFT under the taped condition for the symptomatic group.

CONCLUSION:

Subacromial impingement symptoms are associated with altered upper and lower trapezius muscle activity which can be partially addressed by the application of tape.

PMID:
19376471
DOI:
10.1016/j.ptsp.2008.12.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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