The effects of scapular taping on electromyographic muscle activity and proprioception feedback in healthy shoulders

J Orthop Res. 2011 Jan;29(1):53-7. doi: 10.1002/jor.21146.


We investigated the effects of scapular tape on the electromyographic (EMG) activity of the upper trapezius (UT), lower trapezius (LT), serratus anterior (SA), anterior deltoid (AD), and shoulder proprioception in 12 healthy shoulders. Participants were blindfolded and required to complete a target end/mid range position with the hand. They performed six trials under two experimental conditions; no tape and therapeutic tape. EMG activity was measured by surface electrodes, and proprioception was measured by the FASTRAK electromagnetic motion tracking system. Two-way repeated measures ANOVA showed that UT and AD activities decreased 2.65% (p = 0.001), and SA muscular activities increased 1.9% (p = 0.015) in the taping condition. The proprioceptive feedback magnitude was significantly lower in the taping condition than in the no taping condition (11.9°, p < 0.005). Additionally, correlation coefficients were higher than 0.5 between muscle activity and proprioceptive feedback with the taping condition; UT and magnitude in the mid range task (R = 0.516); LT and magnitude in the end range task (R = -0.524); and SA and magnitude in the mid range task (R = -0.576). The results suggest that scapular tape affects the muscle activity of UT, AD, and SA, and that the effects are related to proprioception feedback. These results implicate that the mechanisms by which scapular taping induces effects can be explained by neuromuscular control and proprioceptive feedback factors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Electromyography*
  • Feedback, Sensory / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Scapula / physiology*
  • Shoulder / physiology