Effects of trapezius kinesio taping on scapular kinematics and associated muscular activation in subjects with scapular dyskinesis
By Journal of Hand Therapy | 28 November 2017
Type:Cross Over
Sample Size:44

Study Design

Crossover repeated-measure design.


Scapular dyskinesis rehabilitation programs that focus on inhibiting upper trapezius (UT) and activating the lower trapezius (LT) may assist in restoring scapular movements. We hypothesized that taping may be able to normalize scapular movements and associated muscular recruitment.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study was to investigate the immediate effects of kinesio taping over trapezius on scapular kinematics and muscular activation in different dyskinesis patterns. We expected that taping can improve scapular kinematics and muscular activation in subjects with dyskinesis.


Fifty-four participants with inferior angle prominence (pattern I), medial border prominence (pattern II), and mixed pattern (pattern I + II) were recruited. Kinesio taping was applied over 3 parts of trapezius muscles, including UT, middle trapezius (MT), and LT. The scapular kinematics and electromyographic data of trapezius and serratus anterior were collected during scapular plane elevation without taping and after each taping application.


UT taping decreased UT activity (5%-7%; P = .001-.003) in 72% of participants with pattern II and pattern I + II dyskinesis, with increased posterior tipping (2.2-2.5; P = .003) in pattern II dyskinesis. MT taping increased UT activity (3%; P = .003) in 48% of participants with pattern II dyskinesis.


The taping over the trapezius muscle may help to restore coordinated scapular muscle balance and increased upward rotation of the scapula, especially in pattern II dyskinesis. Although no electromyography or kinematic difference was found with LT taping in each dyskinesis pattern, methods of applying LT taping need to be further investigated.


Reduced UT muscle activity and scapular posterior tipping are appropriate when applying taping over UT muscle in patterns II and I + II dyskinesis. Caution should be taken when applying taping over MT and LT muscles in terms of increased UT activity, especially in pattern II dyskinesis.

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