Acute effects of scapular Kinesio Taping® on shoulder rotator strength, ROM and acromiohumeral distance

There is limited information in the literature that shows whether scapular taping has an effect on the acromiohumeral distance (AHD) and shoulder functions. The aim of this study was to investigate the acute effects of scapular Kinesio Taping® on shoulder internal rotation (IR) and external rotation (ER) strength, IR and ER range of motion (ROM) and AHD in asymptomatic overhead athletes.

Forty-one volleyball athletes (24 men, 17 women; mean age: 16.1±1.5 years, body mass: 66.5±9.6 kg, body height: 179.6±8.4 cm, Body Mass Index: 20.5±2.3 kg/m2, time participating in overhead sports activity: 6.2±1.4 h/week, experience in sport: 4.1±2.4 years) were included in this study. Shoulder IR and ER ROM, total rotation ROM, AHD, shoulder isometric IR and ER strength and ER:IR strength ratio of the dominant side were tested before and after taping.

Scapular taping increased the shoulder IR (P<0.001) and total ROM (P<0.001), AHD (P<0.001), shoulder IR (P=0.002) and ER (P=0.006) strength. ER ROM and ER:IR ratio did not change after taping (P=0.26, P=0.98, respectively).

The results of this study suggest that scapular taping could be an effective method for enhancing the acromiohumeral distance, shoulder rotator strength and range of motion. Therefore, scapular taping could be recommended for not only in the asymptomatic athletes’ shoulder exercise training but also in the prevention of subacromial impingement syndrome.