The Effects of Rigid Scapular Taping on Acromiohumeral Distance in Healthy Shoulders: An Observational Study

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Context:

Compromise to the acromiohumeral distance (AHD) has been reported in subjects with subacromial impingement syndrome when compared with healthy subjects. In clinical practice, patients are taped with the intention of altering scapular position and influencing the AHD. However, research to determine the effects of taping on AHD is exiguous.

Objectives:

To evaluate the effect of ridged taping techniques to increase posterior scapular tilt and upward scapular rotation on the AHD.

Design:

1-group pretest/posttest repeated-measures design.

Setting:

Human performance laboratory.

Participants:

20 asymptomatic participants (10 male and 10 female) age 27 y (SD 8.0 y).

Intervention:

Ridged tapping of the scapula into posterior tilt and upward scapular rotation.

Main Outcome Measure:

Ultrasound measurement of the AHD.

Results:

AHD increased significantly after rigid tape application to the scapula (P < .003) in healthy shoulders in 60° of passive arm abduction.

Conclusion:

Taping techniques applied to the scapula had an immediate effect of increasing the AHD in healthy shoulders in 60° of passive arm abduction. Results suggest that taping for increasing posterior scapular tilt and increasing scapular upward rotation can influence the AHD and is a useful adjunct to rehabilitation in patients with subacromial impingement syndrome.

Bdaiwi and Mackenzie are with Health, Sports and Rehabilitation Sciences, and Herrington, the School of Sport, Exercise and Physiotherapy, Salford University, Salford, Manchester, UK. Horlsey is with the English Inst of Sport, Manchester, UK. Cools is with the Dept of Rehabilitation Science and Physiotherapy, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.

Address author correspondence to Tanya Mackenzie at t.a.mackenzie@edu.salford.ac.uk.