Kinesiology taping does not alter shoulder strength, shoulder proprioception, or scapular kinematics in healthy, physically active subjects and subjects with Subacromial Impingement Syndrome

Phys Ther Sport. 2017 Mar:24:60-66. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2016.06.006. Epub 2016 Jun 19.


Objective: To examine the effect of kinesiology tape (KT) on shoulder strength, proprioception, and scapular kinematics in healthy and Subacromial Impingement Syndrome (SAIS) subjects.

Design: Placebo-controlled quasi-experimental study.

Setting: Research laboratory.

Participants: A total of 30 physically active subjects participated. Ten healthy subjects with no previous history of shoulder pathology received KT on the dominant shoulder. Twenty subjects with shoulder pain for a minimum of two weeks and presenting with clinical signs of impingement were allotted to receive KT (n = 10) or placebo taping (PT, n = 10) on the involved shoulder.

Main outcome measures: All participants were tested pre- and post-application. Shoulder internal/external rotation (IR/ER) strength was assessed with isokinetic dynamometry (average peak torque/body weight). Shoulder IR/ER proprioception was assessed through threshold to detect passive motion (mean absolute error in degrees). Scapular position at 90° and 120° of shoulder abduction during arm raising/lowering were assessed using a 3D motion analysis system.

Results: No significant within group or between group differences were demonstrated for any measure.

Conclusions: Taping does not appear to aid/impair shoulder strength, shoulder proprioception, or scapular kinematics. Future research should explore if the effects of KT are time-dependent and similar in other pathologies.

Keywords: Kinesiology tape; Proprioception; Scapular kinematics; Strength; Subacromial Impingement Syndrome (SAIS).

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Tape*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology*
  • Proprioception / physiology
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology
  • Scapula / physiopathology*
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / physiopathology*
  • Shoulder Impingement Syndrome / rehabilitation*