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J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2013 Apr;23(2):326-33. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2012.11.005. Epub 2012 Dec 21.

Scapular taping alters kinematics in asymptomatic subjects.

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Department of Bioengineering, Imperial College London, Royal School of Mines, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK.



Scapular taping is frequently used in the management of shoulder pain and as a part of injury prevention strategies in sports. It is believed to alter scapular kinematics and restore normal motion. However, there is little evidence to support its use. The aim of the study was to investigate the effect of shoulder taping on the scapular kinematics of asymptomatic subjects.


Thirteen asymptomatic subjects performed elevations in the sagittal and scapular planes with no tape and after the application of tape. A motion tracking system and a scapula locator method were used to measure the shoulder movement. Co-ordinate frames were defined for the thorax, humerus and scapula and Euler angles were used to calculate joints rotations.


Scapular taping increased the scapular external and upward rotations and posterior tilt in elevations in the sagittal plane (p < 0.001). In the scapular plane, taping increased scapular external rotation (p < 0.05).


Taping affects scapulothoracic kinematics in asymptomatic subjects. The effect may be different for different planes of movement. The findings have implications on the use of taping as a preventive measure in high-risk groups. Further work is needed to assess the effect of taping on symptomatic populations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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