Context: Joint position sense (JPS) is a key neuromuscular factor for developing and maintaining control of muscles around a joint. It is important when performing specialized tasks, especially at the shoulder. No researchers have studied how Kinesio Tape (KT) application affects JPS.
Objective: To investigate the effects of KT application and no tape on shoulder JPS at increasing shoulder elevations in athletes.
Design: Cross-sectional study.
Setting: University laboratory.
Patients or other participants: A total of 27 healthy athletes who did not participate in overhead sports (age = 20.44 ± 1.05 years, height = 175.02 ± 11.67 cm, mass = 70.74 ± 9.65 kg) with no previous pathologic shoulder conditions volunteered for the study. All participants were from 1 university.
Intervention(s): Shoulder JPS was assessed at increasing elevations with and without KT application. Participants attempted to actively replicate 3 target positions with and without the KT and without visual guidance.
Main outcome measure(s): We examined absolute and variable repositioning errors at increasing shoulder-elevation levels with and without KT application.
Results: Data revealed an interaction between tape and position for absolute error (F2,52 = 4.07, P = .02); simple effects revealed an increase in error, with KT demonstrating a 2.65° increase in error at 90° of elevation compared with no tape (t26 = 2.65, P = .01). The effect size was medium (ω(2) = .135). Variable error showed no interaction of tape and position (F2,52 = .709, P = .50). Further analysis of simple effects was not needed. However, we still calculated the effect size and observed small effect sizes for tape (ω(2) = .002), position (ω(2) = .072), and tape by position (ω(2) = .027).
Conclusions: At 90° of elevation, shoulder JPS was impaired by the application of KT.
Keywords: neuromuscular; proprioception; rehabilitation; shoulder; taping.