Int J Sports Med 2013; 34(11): 950-955
DOI: 10.1055/s-0033-1334911
Training & Testing
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Does the Application of Kinesiotape Change Scapular Kinematics in Healthy Female Handball Players?

M. Van Herzeele
1   Rehabilitation Sciences an Physiotherapy, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
R. van Cingel
2   Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, Sport Medical Centre Papendal, Arnhem, The Netherlands
3   Han University of Applied Sciences, Institute Health Studies, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
A. Maenhout
1   Rehabilitation Sciences an Physiotherapy, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
K. De Mey
1   Rehabilitation Sciences an Physiotherapy, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
A. Cools
1   Rehabilitation Sciences an Physiotherapy, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 17 January 2013

Publication Date:
13 May 2013 (online)


Elastic taping is widely used in sports medicine for correcting functional alignment and muscle recruitment. However, evidence regarding its influence on scapular dynamic positioning is scarce. This study aimed to investigate the effect of a specific kinesiotaping method on scapular kinematics in female elite handball players without shoulder complaints. 25 athletes (18.0±1.5 years) active in the highest national division were recruited. All subjects received an elastic adhesive tape (K-active tape©) with the purpose to correct scapular position. 3-dimensional scapular motion measurements were performed (Fastrak®) during humeral elevation in the sagittal, frontal and scapular plane. The results showed that taping has a moderate to large effect (Cohen’s d>0.7) towards scapular posterior tilting, in all 3 planes of humeral movement and for all angles of elevation (mean posteriorizing effect of 4.23°, 3.23° and 4.33° respectively for elevation in the sagittal, frontal and scapular plane, p<0.001). In addition, taping also moderately increased the scapular upward rotation at 30°, 60° and 90° of humeral abduction (mean increase of 2.90°, Cohen’s d>0.7). Together these results suggest that kinesiotape application causes positive changes in scapular motion. This could support its use in sports medicine for preventing shoulder problems in overhead athletes.

  • References

  • 1 Bahr R, Reeser JC. Injuries among world-class professional beach volleyball players. The Federation Internationale de Volleyball beach volleyball injury study. Am J Sports Med 2003; 31: 119-125
  • 2 Borich MR, Bright JM, Lorello DJ, Cieminski CJ, Buisman T, Ludewig PM. Scapular angular positioning at end range internal rotation in cases of glenohumeral internal rotation deficit. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2006; 36: 926-934
  • 3 Borstad JD, Ludewig PM. Comparison of three stretches for the pectoralis minor muscle. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2006; 15: 324-330
  • 4 Briem K, Eythorsdorrir H, Magnusdottir RG, Palmarsson R, Runarsdottir T, Sveinsson T. Effects of kinesio tape compared with nonelastic sports tape and the untapped ankle during a sudden inversion perturbation in male athletes. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2001; 41: 328-335
  • 5 Cools AM, Cambier D, Witvrouw EE. Screening the athlete’s shoulder for impingement symptoms: a clinical reasoning algorithm for early detection of shoulder pathology. Br J Sports Med 2008; 42: 628-635
  • 6 Cools AM, Witvrouw EE, Danneels LA, Cambier DC. Does taping influence electromyographic activity in the scapular rotators in healthy shoulder?. Man Ther 2002; 7: 154-162
  • 7 Cutti AG, Veegher HE. Shoulder biomechanics: today’s consensus and tomorrow’s perspectives. Med Biol Eng Comput 2009; 45: 463-466
  • 8 Cohen J. Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. 2nd ed. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Inc; 1988
  • 9 Ebaugh DD, McClure PW, Karduna AR. Scapulothoracic and glenohumeral kinematics following an external rotation fatigue protocol. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2006; 8: 557-571
  • 10 Fahlström M, Yeap JS, Alfredson H, Söderman K. Shoulder pain – a common problem in world-class badminton players. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2006; 16: 168-173
  • 11 Garcia-Muro F, Rodriguez-Fernandez AL, Herrero-de-Lucas A. Treatment of myofascial pain in the shoulder with kinesio-taping. A case report. Man Ther 2010; 15: 292-295
  • 12 Gohlke F, Lippert MJ, Keck O. Instability and impingement of the shoulder of the high performance athlete in overhead stress. Sportverletz Sportschaden 1993; 7: 115-121
  • 13 Gonzalez-Iglesias J, Fernandez-de-Las-Penas C, Cleland JA, Huijbregts P, Del Rosario Gutierrez-Vega M. Short-term effects of cervical kinesio taping on pain and cervical range of motion In patients with acute whiplash injury: a randomized clinical trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2009; 39: 515-521
  • 14 Harriss DJ, Atkinson G. Update – ethical standards in sport and exercise science research. Int J Sports Med 2011; 32: 819-821
  • 15 Helgadottir H, Kristjansson E, Mottram S, Karduna A, Jonsson H. Altered scapular orientation during arm elevation in patients with insidious onset neck pain and whiplash-associated disorder. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2010; 40: 784-790
  • 16 Hopkins WG, Marschall SW, Batterham AM, Hanin J. Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise sience. Med Sci Sports Excerc 2009; 41: 3-13
  • 17 Hsu YH, Chen WY, Lin HC, Wang WTJ, Shih YF. The effect of taping on scapular kinematics and muscle performance in baseball players with shoulder impingement syndrome. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2009; 6: 1092-1029
  • 18 Jordan K, Dziedzic K, Jones PW, Ong BN, Dawes PT. The reliability of the three-dimensional FASTRAK measurement system in measuring cervical spine and shoulder range of motion in healthy subjects. Rheumatology 2000; 39: 382-388
  • 19 Joshi M, Thigpen CA, Bunn K, Karas SG, Padua DA. Shoulder external rotation fatigue and scapular muscle activation and kinematics in overhead athletes. J Athl Train 2011; 46: 349-357
  • 20 Karduna AR, McClure PW, Michener LA, Sennett B. Dynamic measurements of three-dimensional scapular kinematics: a validation study. J Biomech Eng 2001; 2: 184-190
  • 21 Karlsson J, Andreasson GO. The effect of external ankle support in chronic lateral ankle joint instability. An electromyographic study. Am J Sports Med 1992; 20: 257-261
  • 22 Kaya E, Zinnuroglu M, Tugcu I. Kinesio taping compared to physical therapy modalities for the treatment of shoulder impingement syndrome. Clin Rheumatol 2011; 30: 201-207
  • 23 Kibler WB. The role of the scapula in athletic shoulder function. Am J Sports Med 1998; 26: 325-337
  • 24 Kibler WB, McMullen J. Scapular dyskinesis and its relation to shoulder pain. J Am Acad Orthop Surg 2003; 11: 142-151
  • 25 Kierner AC, Zelenka I, Burian M. How do the cervical plexus and the spinal accessory nerve contribute to the innervation of the trapezius muscle? As seen from within using Sihler’s stain. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2001; 127: 1230-1232
  • 26 Laudner KG, Sipes RC, Wilson JT. The acute effects of sleeper stretches on shoulder range of motion. J Athl Train 2008; 43: 359-563
  • 27 Lewis JS, Wright C, Green A. Subacromial impingement syndrome: the effect of changing posture on shoulder range of movement. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2005; 35: 72-87
  • 28 Lewis JS, Green A, Wright C. Subacromial impingement syndrome: the role of posture and muscle imbalance. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2005; 14: 385-392
  • 29 Lin JJ, Hung CJ, Yang PL. The effects of scapular taping on electromyographic muscle activity and proprioception feedback in healthy shoulders. J Orthop Res 2011; 29: 53-57
  • 30 Lin JJ, Lim HK, Yang JL. Effect of shoulder tightness on glenohumeral translation, scapular kinematics, and scapulohumeral rhythm in subjects with stiff shoulders. J Orthop Res 2006; 5: 1044-1051
  • 31 Ludewig PM, Cook TM. Alterations in shoulder kinematics and associated muscle activity in people with symptoms of shoulder impingement. Phys Ther 2000; 3: 276-291
  • 32 Ludewig PM, Reynolds JF. The association of scapular kinematics and glenohumeral joint pathologies. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2009; 39: 90-104
  • 33 Maenhout A, Van Eessel V, Van Dyck L, Vanraes A, Cools A. Quantifying acromiohumeral distance in overhead athletes with glenohumeral internal rotation loss and the influence of a stretching program. Am J Sports Med 2012; 40: 2105-2112
  • 34 McClure PW, Michener LA, Sennett BJ, Karduna AR. Direct 3-dimensional measurement of scapular kinematics during dynamic movement in vivo. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 2001; 10: 269-277
  • 35 McClure PW, Bialker J, Neff N, Williams G, Karduna A. Shoulder function and 3-dimensional kinematics in people with shoulder impingement syndrome before and after a 6-week exercise program. Phys Ther 2004; 84: 832-848
  • 36 Meskers CGM, Fraterman H, van der Helm FCT, Vermeulen HM, Rozing PM. Calibration of the “Flock of Birds” electromagnetic tracking device and its application in shoulder motion studies. J Biomech 1999; 32: 629-33
  • 37 Morris D, Jones D, Ryan H, Ryan CG. The clinical effects of Kinesio(®) Tex taping: A systematic review. Physiother Theory Pract 2012; [Epub ahead of print]
  • 38 Mottram SL.. Dynamic stability of the scapula. Manual Therapy 1997; 2: 123-131
  • 39 Myklebust G, Hasslan R, Bahr R, Steffen K. High prevalence of shoulder pain among elite Norwegian female handball players. Scand J Med Sci Sports Nov 11 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.2011.01398.x.. [Epub ahead of print]
  • 40 Nieuwenhuijzen PH, Duysens J. Proactive and reactive mechanisms play a role in stepping on inverting surfaces during gait. J Neurophysiol 2007; 98: 2266-2273
  • 41 Page P. Shoulder muscle imbalance and subacromial impingement syndrome in overhead athletes. Int J Sports Phys Ther 2011; 6: 51-58
  • 42 Paoloni M, Bernetti A, Fratocchi G, Mangone M, Parrinello L, Del Pilar Cooper M, Sesto L, Di Sante L, Santilli V. Kinesio taping applied to lumbar muscles influences clinical and electromyographic characteristics in chronic low back pain patients. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med 2011; 47: 237-244
  • 43 Slupik A, Dwornik M, Bialoszewski D, Zych E. Effect of kinesio taping on bioelectrical activity of vastus medialis muscle. Prliminary report. Orthop Traumatol Rehabil 2007; 9: 644-651
  • 44 Struyf F, Nijs J, Baeyens JP, Mottram S, Meeusen R. Scapular positioning and movement in unimpaired shoulders, shoulder impingement syndrome, and glenohumeral instability. Scand J Med Sci Sports 2011; 21: 352-358
  • 45 Thelen MD, Dauber JA, Stoneman PD. The clinical efficacy of kinesio tape for shoulder pain: a randomized, double-blinded, clinical trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 2008; 38: 389-395
  • 46 Williams S, Whatman C, Hume PA, Sheerin K. Kinesio taping in treatment and prevention of sports injuries: a meta-analysis of the evidence for its effectiveness. Sports Med 2012; 42: 153-164
  • 47 Wilk KE, Meister K, Andrews JR. Current concepts in the rehabilitation of the overhead throwing athlete. Am J Sports Med 2002; 30: 136-151
  • 48 Wu G, van der Helm FC, Veeger HE, Makhsous M, Van Roy P, Anglin C, Nagels J, Karduna AR, McQuade K, Wang X, Werner FW, Buchholz B. ISB recommendation on definitions of joint coordinate systems of various joints for the reporting of human joint motion – part II: shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. J Biomech 2005; 5: 981-992